Our #BeanstalkBrilliant Book of the Month for December is 'The Ultimate Animal Joke Book' written by Sadie Gardner and our theme is around using books of jokes and riddles.

About the book 

Whilst jokes and riddles are lots of fun, they are also a very good way to help children with their comprehension skills.  The purpose of reading is to extract meaning and, if you don't understand what you're reading, there's really no point in doing it.

The way The Ultimate Animal Joke Book by Sadie Gardner is set out helps children focus on one joke at a time.  Decoding the words in a joke and 'getting' what's funny are two different things and, in a standard joke book with lots of jokes on one page, it's tempting to skip to the next joke without working out why the previous one was funny!  This book is clear and colourful and a great introduction to understanding why jokes work.

Equally brilliant books with the same theme - Jokes and riddles!

In order to 'get' a joke, children need to be familiar with and distinguish between words that have multiple meanings - pear and pair or sun and son.  And phrases with multiple meanings - 'why did the child eat his homework?  Because his mum said it was a piece of cake'. 

They also need to be able to think more deeply and apply logic - 'what's worse than finding a worm in your apple?  Finding half a worm!'.  Processing and applying thought to what you read is a key comprehension skill.

Often people see joke and riddle books as not 'proper' reading and 'just a bit of fun' but reading should be fun and children need to be encouraged and supported to read whatever they choose.

Here are some books we think are #BeanstalkBrilliant for jokes and riddles.

Download the full list as a PDF here