Terry Jones, of Monty Python fame, is joined by animal capers galore in the Roald Dahl funny prize shortlists
By Michelle Pauli
Cats, cows, chickens and peacocks are all chortleworthy this year, according to the judges of the Roald Dahl funny prize. In an animal-heavy shortlist there are not only picture books featuring creatures getting up to all kinds of capers, but also an entire book of Animal Tales, written by Monty Python star Terry Jones, in the older age group category.
The book, illustrated by Michael Foreman, includes whimsical tales of a dog who cannot understand why he is not allowed to practice medicine, a fox who runs a circus of trained chickens, a flea who thinks he is the manager of a chain of mega-stores and a skunk who falls madly in love with a bear.
It is in the running in the Funniest book for children aged seven to fourteen category and is pitted against debut author Steven Butler’s disgustingly yucky tale of a boy who is whooshed down the toilet to the land of Under and a world of trolls. They are joined by a couple of school-based romps, Letters from an Alien Schoolboy by Ros Asquith and the journal-based story The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon; the antics of a disaster-prone eight-year-old girl, Penny Dreadful Is a Magnet for Disaster; and Rose Impey’s tale of three wackily entrepreneurial friends and their gerbil factory, Get Rich Quick Club.