The Laugh Out Loud 2018 Book Awards (Lollies) Short-list!

6EE7E5BA-67DE-4DBF-BE86-D8608405F051I was extremely excited to be invited by Scholastic to be on the judging panel for this year’s Lollies. Although the short-list is decided by the judges, the winners are decided purely by readers, librarians and teachers so make sure you visit www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies to vote!

Michael Rosen, children’s novelist, poet and former Children’s Laureate, today announced the shortlist for the 2018 Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies), a set of awards, now in its third year, created by Scholastic UK, to celebrate the funniest children’s books.
Having long championed humorous books for children, Rosen said of the shortlist: “Anyone around children looking for books to have them giggling and laughing over and over again, these 12 books will do the job.  They are infectious and contagious and dangerous!  Children will want to read them and ask for more. People talk about the importance of getting children reading, well, these shortlisted books do the work all by themselves.”
Rosen and his judging panel, consisting of Katie Thistleton, presenter and host of the CBBC Children’s Book Club, primary school teachers and bloggers, Jo Cummins and Jonny Walker, as well Kate Newport, Product Director for Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Fairs, were tasked with selecting the shortlist from nearly 120 titles submitted by children’s publishers.

So without further ado, let me introduce to our 3 categories and 12 amazing nominees:

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5E94EFB5-2788-406E-B695-2DC16E0412BBOi Cat! By Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)

The third hilarious book in this brilliant rhyming series based around a cheeky frog who refuses to play the rhyming rules.  An absolute delight to read aloud with guaranteed laughs for adults and children alike.  The bold illustrations only make the jokes funnier.

5C2E289E-FCDA-46A4-94EB-DAE65DE3795DMr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory by Elys Dolan (OUP)

Ever wondered what really happened inside a chocolate factory or how chocolate eggs are so egg-shaped?  Step into Mr Bunny’s factory and meet a quality-control unicorn and a plucky flock of chickens who are prepared to stand up for their rights.  Packed with clever gags, hidden details and an introduction to the power of collective action and worker’s rights.

337797BA-2DCA-4A6A-B79E-472E38613D48I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt (Puffin Books)

On the fluorescently-coloured face of it, this is simply a worm-based counting book.  Except it’s not.  Cleverly devised around the premise that its author can only draw worms, the reader follows the adventures of ten ( or nine and two-halves) worms as they ride on unicorns (almost) and fly to space (not).  Educational and excellent fun for children and fans of the Lumbricus Terrestris.

ED51B895-973E-4984-AF5E-D14629A6599AThe Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright and Jim Field (Orchard Books)

Greedy squirrels, ‘Spontaneous’ Cyril (who has not bothered to build up a store of food) and ‘Plan-ahead’ Bruce (who has amassed a mountain of goodies), both have their eyes set on the same delicious nut – the very last pine-nut of the season.  The problem is, only one of them can have it and neither want to share.  After putting themselves in mortal peril, the two finally come to an agreement in this gorgeously-illustrated tale about friendship and learning to share.
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A9BCB736-A343-42D1-A757-36564DAEE0B8There’s A Werewolf in My Tent by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)

Izzy and the gang are super-excited to be heading off on the school camping trip (except for Maisie, who had written a comprehension ‘Dangers’ list).  It’s all going brilliantly until they hear a strange howling at night.  Then they notice their gym teacher’s exceptionally hairy legs and her cravings for meat and come to the only logical conclusion: she must be a werewolf! They’re doomed!

A301C76F-3DBE-4955-9ED0-6B6191732473Barry Loser and the Birthday Billions by Jim Smith (Egmont)

It’s Barry’s birthday and he got the mega-keel Shozinator 9000!   The problem is, he only managed to enjoy it for a few seconds before his little brother mistook it for a potty.  Determined to buy himself a replacement, Barry sets about trying to earn himself billions by becoming an inventor.  Predictably, this isn’t quite as easy as Barry imagines.  A highly illustrated chapter book for lovers of madcap fun.

B19E181B-5FF1-4473-B93E-FB9E29859091The Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers Diary Of Pig by Emer Stamp (Scholastic)

Pig’s back in another unbelievable adventure told in his own inimitable style and full of huge stinky farts. Fearing that he has accidentally eaten his turkey pal, Ki-Ki, in his sleep, Pig becomes inconsolable.  The vast amounts of snot running down his face make his temporary owner think he has some of terrible disease and call the team from Deathra.  Can his friends rescue him before he gets taken away in the white van of doom?

BE3B378F-908A-4ED5-A827-1BCC6E8273E4Lyttle Lies – The Pudding Problem by Joe Berger (Simon and Schuster)

Sam Lyttle has complicated relationship with the truth.  Sometimes it’s easier to stretch it slightly than stick entirely to the facts.  Sometimes it’s just too big to deal with and should just be skirted around.  When Sam finds himself on the wrong side of school bully, Peter Feeny, only a truly spectacular lie will do.  Cue the mind-bending ‘Imaginary Cheeseburger Lie.’ Told partly in a comic-style making it highly engaging for readers.

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Football School Season 2 – When Football Saves the World! By Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton (Walker Books)

It’s brilliant to have this engaging non-fiction book on the short-list.  Jam-packed full of trivia, facts, quizzes and science, inside you will find the answers to questions like: What is a vomitory and why are footballs NOT round?  This is not just a book for football fans (although they’ll love it), it’s also a very interesting read for anyone who’s just interested in things.  The second in a great series – I hope there’ll be many more.

12099206-28A0-4B97-934A-766AD4DA9736My Mum’s Growing Down by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by David Tazzyman (Faber & Faber)

A rib-tickling poetry collection about mums behaving badly (according to their children) which hit a little too close to home when I read it!  I think I’m going to enjoy ‘growing down.’ My son was also chortling as he read which is always a sign of a good book.  A clever take on the trials of adulthood which will turn children onto the delights of poetry.

6376591B-2425-44ED-BED2-57BF1242AA84Tom Gates Epic Adventure by Liz Pichon (Scholastic)

Tom’s setting out on what he hopes is going to be an epic journey with his grandparents (aka The Wrinklies).  Mainly because they’re very good at giving presents so he just knows it’s going to be a great day out even if Delia does have to come. It will be a perfect day, just so long as Tom gets back in time for the school’s Tropical Disco… Another doodle-packed instalment in the best-selling Tom Gates series.  Sure to be loved by funny book fans.

A7C97F6E-09CB-4834-9B80-C0A39FDCACE4Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure by A.L. Kennedy, illustrated by Gemma Correll (Walker Books)

Poor Badger Bill has been kidnapped by two, frankly repulsive, old ladies who are about to make him enter a boxing match against three terrifying hounds.  Someone just HAS to rescue him.  And the four fed-up llamas who were lured to the foulsome McGoonies’ farm under false pretences.  Enter Uncle Shawn who just happens to sniff trouble and sets about coming up with an almost, sort of, kind of plan.  Bursting with slightly surreal madcap humour unlike anything I’ve ever read before!

Phew!  What a line-up!  Now it’s up to you to get voting for your favourite in each category.  To cast your vote, visit www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies or vote via the Lollies PopJam channel.  Voting closes on the 14th of December and and teachers can place up to 35 votes for their classes.

Make sure you keep checking back here (and on twitter as @BookSuperhero2) for more #Lollies2018 info and giveaways.

Library Girl.

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