The Joke's on Selby, by Duncan Ball

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

Not realizing what I was starting, I first gave my grandson a Selby book a year or so ago. He loved it so much he has since gone on to read and re-read several others. In fact I suspect he’s angling to end up with the whole Selby collection – all 19 of them.

Duncan Ball has a sense of humour that reaches out to children. His wordplay is very clever. They are a good, fun read. The Joke’s on Selby is no exception. It features Garry Gaggs the comedian who is back in Bogusville, where Selby and the Trifles live, to do his comedy act. What’s more, he’s staying at the Trifle’s house, which presents Selby with a problem. He knows he dare not laugh at Garry’s jokes which are so awful, they’re funny. Do that and his secret would be out. Selby decides he has no choice but to make a run for it.

When the librarian is threatening to blow up the school, Selby finds a creative and fun way to calm her down.

Garry has a list of heckler busters that usually work but suddenly he strikes a heckler who is not so easily put off. Garry dubs him the phantom heckler and threatens to quit being a comedian. Once again Selby comes to the rescue and uncovers the culprit. When he finds out who is responsible, Garry is extremely surprised and has to take drastic steps.

This collection of stories is as funny as the other Selby books. Kids will love it. It’s no wonder the Selby books were awarded the Kroc (Kids Reading Oz Choice) Series Award winner.

The Joke’s on Selby ,By Duncan Ball
ISBN: 9780732288624
Published by Angus&Robertson
An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Australia
RRP $12.95