Let's hear it for funny stuff!

Emily, Scott, Jack and Drift discover something
 beneath the snowy mound
As I reported in my last post I was lucky enough to be invited along the Bedfordshire book of the year voting event last month to give a talk and and announce the winner - which was The Doughnut Diaries by Anthony McGowan. I've read it and it really is a laugh-out-loud funny book! I've read lots of articles recently about how funny books for kids are  the Big Trend at the moment - just look at the Diary of a Wimpy Kid phenomenon.
Hooray, I say!
Alongside books that make us think deep thoughts or have a good old cry or jump out of our skins, we all need a good laugh every now and then - and preferably more now than then!

I try to include funny bits in the Adventure Island books, alongside all the mystery and peril. When I visit schools or events one of my favourite bits to read out loud  is the scene from

The Mystery of the Dinosaur Discovery when Drift, Emily, Jack and Scott discover the fossil at the quarry - because it's a funny bit (at least, I think it is!) I always get four volunteers to come up and play the characters - there are lots of props (including hats for all,  Emily's bag with her investigation kit and a high tech "snowy mound" lovingly crafted from a pillow case).   Everyone always ends up laughing - as you can see from this picture from the Bedfordshire event (apologies for the scary blue-whiteness of my legs - it's not been a great summer weatherwise!)

While we're on the subject of laughing, I had to giggle (not advised when drinking hot coffee!)  when I read this headline in my local paper this morning.

It wasn't only the cheesy pun (gorging on cheddar - Cheddar Gorge, geddit?) that made my laugh, or the image of a burglar running down the street with a giant slab of cheddar under each arm, but the fact that I'd happened to write about cheese-crime in my first blog post for the Operation Diamond competition, when talking about how I got the idea for the story about the theft of the Saxon treasure in The Mystery of the Whistling Caves.

This is what I wrote:
"I did lots of research and learned some fascinating facts about robberies. For example, did you know that the most commonly stolen type of food is CHEESE! Well, that didn’t help much. I could hardly start off the Adventure Island series with the mysterious disappearance of a box of Dairylea triangles, could I?"
You might have thought I was making that up, but now you know it's all absolutely true!