Review Blog

Oct 31 2018

Laugh your head off 4 ever by various authors

cover image

Ill. by Andrea Innocent. Pan Macmillan, 2018. ISBN 9781760559854
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Andy Griffiths headlines this collection with Runaway Pram. Andy is the lone passenger in a pram, following an extreme downhill path. We're on the edge of our seats at each nerve racking change in the pram's trajectory. Does Andy arrive at his destination in one piece? A good choice of opener to keep children turning pages, what follows is many landscapes for humour rather than the familiar Family or Contemporary genres. There are even Sci Fi and Fantasy stories, which somehow manage to make use of several comedy keys including: mistaken identity, unlikely anti-heroes and exaggerated or reversed stereotypes - none more titillating than the fat, hairy, Feral Fairies of Foggarty's Field.
4ever is the fourth collection of short stories in the Laugh Your Head Off series and targets middle to upper primary students with 10 stories, each penned by an established Australian author : Andy Griffiths, Felice Arena, James Roy, Matt Stanton, Lisa Shannahan, Penny Tangey, Marcus Emerson, Yvette Poshoglian and Katrina Nannestad.
None of these isolated stories, nor the four volumes in the series, need be read in any particular sequence but young readers will certainly sample at least one or two laugh-out-loud moments. Each volume in the series uses only one colour. This time, yellow monochromatic illustrations lend the book a vintage or retro vibe that signals good, clean fun. Even so, don't be fooled - none of the cheeky contributions typify the perfunctory old levelled school readers of their grandparents' childhoods .
Deborah Robins

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