Children love to laugh!! Do you want to write stories that children will love and read over and over and over again? Do you want to delight your readers and make them crave your stories? Yes?
Make your stories funny! Yes, make children laugh!
TIPS FOR WRITING HUMOUROUS STORIES FOR CHILDREN
Use humorous experiences from every day life. Think of funny things that have happened to you, your friends and family. Tweak them a bit and use them! See picture book, The End of Something Wonderful: A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral.
Please please please keep the jokes as short as possible.
Surprise your readers! See picture book, We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
Bathroom humour: Stories featuring body sounds are a hit with younger children especially books with farts and burps! See chapter book Gangster Granny by David Walliams PS: Don’t go over the top!
Stories where children play pranks on or triumph over adults: See Captain Underpants
Exaggerate, yes, stretch regular situations to the point of absolute silliness!
Wordplay!! Try these and some sarcasm too to score high points with your readers!
Remember, don’t try too hard! There’s nothing more annoying than an overstressed joke.
NB: Humour can also be used to write about tough topics to make them easier for young readers to digest. The best example of this is Stephanie Lucianovic’s The End of Something Wonderful: A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral.
Here are some of my all-time favourites:
B J Novak. The Book with No Pictures.
Mo, Willem. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.
Ryan T Higgins. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
Dav Pilky, The Captain Underpants Series
Peggy Parish, The Amelia Bedelia Series
Louis Sachar, Sideways Stories from the Wayside School
Action: Read like a Writer
Identify the funniest books you’ve read and try to figure out the elements the author utilized to make you laugh. Can you see any of the tips above?
So, want to write a funny story? Start reading. You can start with some of the books on my list. 😊
Want to write a story for children, don’t know where to start? Tell me all about it and we can figure out the theme and some mentor texts for you!
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This is one of the quirkiest books I have EVER read! George and Harold are two friends who like to ‘liven things up’ and inadvertently get into a LOT of trouble. In this book, they drive their new science teacher, maniacal mad-scientist, Professor Poopypants crazy and he decides to take over the world in the funniest/silliest way possible. Read it to find out how George, Harold and Captain Underpants try to stop Professor Poopypants and his perilous plan.
THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: The Flip-O-Rama!!! I love books with activities for readers. It makes them more interactive and automatically more interesting. I also loved the fact that George and Harold wrote, photocopied and sold comic books to their schoolmates. This brought back pleasant memories of primary school. I made good money from my classmates by selling my stories to them every week! Another highlight was the fact that the book introduces a moral in a very subtle way. It encourages kids/people not to laugh at other people. I also loved the names of the citizens of New SwissLand.
DOWN: It was a bit too silly.
Who was Captain Underpants, the underwear-wearing super hero? Krupp, the Principal of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School.
Why did Professor Pippy Pee-Pee Poopypants get so angry that he went crazy? Because George and Harold made a comic book that made fun of him.
What was the perilous plot of Professor Poopypants? To take over the world and get everyone to change their names so that everyone would have silly names like him.
What is the moral of the story? It’s not nice to make fun of people.
Why did Mr. Fyde the science teacher resign? Because he thought he was going crazy.
How did George and Harold get back at their teachers and principal for laughing at them and stopping them from going on the field trip? They went into the teacher’s lounge, taped the tap’s spray handle on the ‘on’ position, poured powdered soap flakes on the blades of the ceiling fan, and filled the fridge with white Styrofoam pellets. When the teachers came back into the lounge and turned the tap and fan on, they were first soaked, then covered with soapy powder which soon turned to paste because of the water and then when the fridge was opened, the fan blew the foam pellets all over the room and they landed on the teacher’s sticky bodies, making them look like a group of giant evil snowmen.