Laugh Your Head Off Again

I’m in the supermarket trying to remember what groceries mum wanted me to pick up, but I can’t think. I can’t breathe. I can’t do anything. i’m busting. And I don’t mean busting. I mean BUSTING!

Andy Griffiths’ hilarious tale of mishap after mishap when a boy finds himself busting for the toilet in the middle of a shopping trip is just one of nine stories by some of Australia’s best – and funniest – authors of young people in this hard cover bind-up for children.

Laugh Your Head off Again features nine humorous stories from authors including Griffiths, Sally Rippin, Morris Gleitzman and Frances Watts, in situations including a corn chip that looks like Justin Beiber, a seagull determined to steal the perfect footy pie, and a school camp on a llama farm. Each story is short enough to be enjoyed in a single sitting and is embellished with illustrations by Andrea Innoent.

Lots of fun for primary aged readers.

Laugh Your Head off Again
Pan Macmillan, 2016
ISBN 9781743549872

The Cow Tripped Over the Moon by Tony Wilson ill Laura Wood

Hey diddle

You all know the riddle,

A cow jumps over the moon.

It happened, all right,

On a crisp, cloudless night

On the second last Friday in June

Hey diddle

You all know the riddle,

A cow jumps over the moon.

It happened, all right,

On a crisp, cloudless night

On the second last Friday in June

The first time the cow tried to jump over the moon, was disastrous. Embarrassing. And as for the fiddler cat? Some practice wouldn’t go astray there either. Luckily they were among friends and friends help friends. So begins a night of getting it right. Some training, some direction, some practice and support all help to make the night a success. Along the way, there’s plenty of fun. Illustrations are full bleed and full of nighttime blues, reds, golds and more. Endpapers feature patchwork paddocks.

The Cow Tripped Over the Moon revisits the popular riddle ‘The Cow Jumped over the Moon’ and explores just what happened before ‘opening night’. This delightful nonsense has at its heart a reminder that things don’t always go perfectly the first time. It explores the nature of friendship, the value of persistence, failure and success. Young readers will come for the silliness, and that’s as good a reason as any to get lost in a story. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.

The Cow Tripped Over the Moon, Tony Wilson ill Laura Wood
Scholastic Press 2015
ISBN: 9781743623534

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller

The Emperor's New Clothes Horse, by Tony Wilson & Sue deGennaro

‘I’d trade all these trophies for one Cristobel Cup!’

The Emperor loves horse racing, and his horses have won every ace in the land – except the Cristobel Cup. He will do anything to win one. When the Royal Trainers fail to find him the perfect horse he turns to a pair of brilliant international trainers who produce a special horse. They warn him though: only clear-thinking citizens will see the horse for what it is- a mighty racehorse. Those who are stupid will see just a wooden clothes horse.

This is a witty take on the classic story The Emperor’s New Clothes, with a clothes horse taking centre stage in this equine twist. Youngsters who haven’t heard the original will get almost as much out of the story as those who have, though the two work well together and for older children there is an opportunity for comparison of the two. Illustrations, using Copic markers and black biro are delightfully humorous. The unusual layout is also clever, with each illustration spanning the centre of each spread, and text appearing on the outer third of each page against pastel backgrounds picking up the colours of the illustrations.

Suitable for early childhood, but with applicability well into the school years.

The Emperor’s New Clothes Horse, by Tony Wilson & Sue deGennaro
Scholastic, 2012
ISBN 9781742830452

This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond.

Harry Highpants, by Tony Wilson

eople in our town wear their pants at different heights.

People in town have always worn their pants at different heights. Some wear them low, some a little high and in Harry Highpants’ case, very high. But it’s not been a problem until Roy Bland decides to stand for council. He wants to see everyone wearing their pants the same way, the so-called ‘normal’ way. As the campaign progresses, the town is divided over the pants issue. Some feel that pants should be worn as the wearer feels comfortable, others are determined that everyone should be the same. Wading into this battle comes Harry Highpants, speaking for the freedom to wear pants as he wishes.

In Harry Highpants, Tom Jellett uses bright colours and humour to illustrate an important message about diversity and the challenges faced by any who would be different. The Roy Blands of this world will always find plenty of support in the push for uniformity. Hopefully, there will also be those who question and resist. The children of this town may have found Harry Highpants to be a figure of fun, his difference setting him apart, but they recognise, support and defend his right to wear his pants just how he chooses. Full colour pages, uncrowded images and an informal font allow the characters to shine as they recognise injustice and join the fight to reject Bland’s plans. The bright cover and images are attractive. Tony Wilson combines with Tom Jellett and together they tackle a serious subject with a light touch. They have produced a colourful, fun text, recommended for 3-7 year olds.

Harry Highpants, Tony Wilson, ill Tom Jellett
Omnibus Books 2007
ISBN: 9781862916036

AFL Footy Fan's Handbook, by Tony Wilson

Do you have a young football fan in your household? If so, this offering from Omnibus, officially endorsed by the AFL, is sure to appeal. Including a brief overview of the history of the game, followed by profiles of each team in the competition an explanation of how the finals series works, and a section of fun and games, this is both informative and entertaining.

Young fans will enjoy learning the lyrics of their club’s song , challenging themselves with any of the several quizzes, or boning up on some Brownlow Medal history. There are also loads of quick facts, and opportunities for kids to record the season’s highlights and more.

Sure to appeal to footy fans aged 7 to 12.

AFL Footy Fan’s Handbook, by Tony Wilson
Omnibus, 2006

Grannysaurus Rex, by Tony Wilson and David Cornish

My granny had started to grow. By the time she stopped growing she was a dinosaur.
‘I am Grannysaurus Rex!’ the dinosaur roared. ‘Now it is time to rampage.’

The young character in this book has a Granny who spoils him. She is also a Granny with a sweet tooth and a lolly bag to feed it.

When the boy has a day out with Granny, she brings her lolly bag and the pair have fun eating sweets and playing dinosaur games in the park. But when they take a break, the sugar from the lollies starts to take its toll, and the boy has a sugar-nightmare in which he sees Granny evolve into a dinosaur and go on a rampage. Only when Granny explains what is happening does he relax and join in.

Grannysaurus Rex is a fun, dinosaur filled offering with plenty of realistic dinosaur illustrations form David Cornish and a whimsical storyline from Tony Wilson. Young dinosaur lovers will love spotting the different dinosaurs, a list of which is provided under the book’s dedication. Adult readers will enjoy the simple text and the sly message about the perils of too many lollies.

This hardcover offering is a first picture book for both author and illustrator.


Grannysaurus Rex, by Tony Wilson and David Cornish
Omnibus, 2004