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See what happens when you’re looking forward to a trip to the zoo with your dad and discover it’s not just human dads who like to tell embarrassing and goofy dad jokes. It’s every dad’s mission!

Whether they growl or they squeal,
Or they bellow or croak,
No dad can ever resist telling a joke.

Lion, hippo, giraffe and leopard are just some of the zoo animal dads trying hard to make their kids laugh with bad jokes. Crocodile's joke reminded me of my dad. Whenever we said, “I’m, hungry!” dad would always shake our hand and say “Pleased to meet you Hungry, I’m Dad!”

Adrian Beck is one of the funniest people I know, so I'm not surprised his first picture book is a fun rhyming story filled with non-stop dad jokes and a clever twist at the end. It's definitely a book to read aloud!

Simon Greiner’s bright, cartoon illustrations add to the humour with eye rolls, raised eyebrows and cringing looks. See if you can find the 'Three Wise Monkeys' who aren't even safe from their dad’s jokes at the cafe.

Even though dad jokes can make us groan out loud, Stop the Dad Jokes! reminds us that jokes are our dad's way of making us laugh and showing they care.

If your dad drives you crazy with his jokes, Stop the Dad Jokes! could be the  book you need to help you either 'beat him or join him'! Beat dad at his own game by using the jokes in the book or join him by reading the book together and making up more dad jokes.

Stop the Dad Jokes! would make a great gift for Father’s Day.

Here's a fun dad joke I spotted on my travels...

Do you have a favourite Dad joke?

Happy reading!

The Right Way to Rock by Nat Amoore is an uplifting story filled with heart and humour, seasoned with songs and garnished with gherkins. 

Mac Fleetwood Cooper’s mum is obsessed with rock music. She thinks rock is the only music worth listening to and is doing all she can to help eleven-year-old Mac become a rock star. Mac wants to make his mum proud, so there's no way he can tell her that he loves Broadway musicals and his dream is to write his own one day.

Mac is invited to join the Secret Society of Broadway Music Appreciation (SSOBMA,) and meets Flynn, a talented pianist who has Tourette’s syndrome. Through the boys' friendship we learn what it’s like to have a condition that causes people to have tics (sounds, movement, words and phrases) that they have no control over. Mac shows us how we can be supportive and accept people for who they are. 

When Mac learns The Arts program at Watterson Primary is going to be cut, he is devastated because music with Ms Fox is his favourite class. Mac knows he has to do something to save the program and his teachers’ jobs. It’s an Arts Fiasco! Mac and Flynn devise a daring plan. Watterson: The Musical! is born and becomes a wonderful celebration of friendship, community and The Arts. Go Gherkin Guys!

Nat’s love of musicals shines in The Right Way To Rock. The story is written in acts and scenes rather than chapters and each scene begins with a song re-written from a musical – so much creativity! Nat has also brought back characters from her books Secrets of Schoolyard Millionaire and The Power of Positive Pranking. I really enjoyed the return of Kathy and Mr Piddles who have some surprises of their own.

You can read The Right Way to Rock on its own, but I highly recommend you read Secrets of Schoolyard Millionaire and The Power of Positive Pranking first if you haven’t read them yet. 

Enjoy Nat's unboxing video of  The Right Way To Rock 

This morning I had a moment of serendipity (“Google it!” Tess Heckleston would say). As I was finishing reading The Right Way To Rock, my phone pinged with a photo memory from five years ago on this day. It was the photo below I took of the stage at Matilda The Musical…. read The Right Way to Rock to find out why I smiled at the amazing coincidence!

Happy reading!



There are sure to be giggles and guffaws when you read Poo and Other Words that Make me Laugh

This cheeky book begs to be read aloud as weird and wonderful words playfully weave their way around brightly coloured pages reminding us how fun and fascinating words can be.

Unleash your funny voices (and faces) and try not to tangle your tongue on words like FLIBBERTIGIBBET, PERSNICKETYHUBBUB and SUCCOTASH.
many interesting ways can you say that little word POO?
Check out the the glossary to see if you have COLLYWOBBLES or whether you should use
 a BUMBERSHOOT or a SNICKERSNEE next time it rains!

Do you have a favourite word? One of mine is SERENDIPITY.

Try brainstorming words with your friends or class and create your own book of Poo (or ???) and Other Words That Make Us Laugh. 

 Felice Arena and Tom Jellett are a dynamic duo who love to make reading fun. Have a look for Sporty Kids and The Besties at your library or bookshop.

Happy reading! 


My neighbours would have heard lots of laughter coming from my backyard as I was reading Derek Dool’s third book and latest crazy attempt to become SUPERCOOL. This time Derek is running for his life!

After a disastrous meatball-eating competition at the ‘G’Day, Norway” event, Derek sets his sights on winning the school cross-country race. However, he’s going to have to beat Nora the Norwegian exchange student and star cross-country runner as well as his nemesis and last year’s winner, Carmichael Cruze.

Derek is far from being a natural athlete, but when he learns his dad won the school's first cross-country race, he thinks running must be in his DNA and he’s in with a chance. Not even having to run around the school in his underpants if he loses is going to stop Derek!

Big Denise and Booger have a huge task getting Derek fit, but Big Denise knows just how to motivate Derek to run up hills.

Armed with his Doolerade energy drink (a melted down whole packet of fun size Mars bars and some out of date cocoa) and dressed in his dad’s old jogging outfit and floral underpants (don’t ask!), Derek is determined to beat Nora and Cruze and impress his dad – win/win/win!

But Derek’s plans fall apart when a storm hits as he enters the darkening bush where local rumours say a witch lurks…

Will Derek make it out of the bush to win the cross-country race and be SUPERCOOL at last? 

The dynamic duo of Adrian Beck and Scott Edgar have given us another laugh out loud story filled with humour and heart. Run as fast as you can to grab your copy! 

Happy reading!


My dog, Ugly is a genius. All the kids in my class reckon he is too. He’s the school hero. I’m not showing off. It’s a fact.

If you’re a dog lover like me, you’ll love the adventures of Eric Bright and his best mate Ugly who was Eric's present for his eighth birthday. My Dog is a Winner by Elizabeth Fensham is the third book in the series including My Dog Doesn’t Like Me and My Dog Gets a Job.

These days Ugly is a star companion dog at Eric’s school where he proudly wears his therapy-dog vest and blue-and-gold school tie. Ugly and Eric’s Grandad volunteer to work with kids like Barnaby who is autistic and Maryam who has recently arrived from Syria. Ugly seems to know just the right thing to do to support and encourage them and be a friend. He can even talk in his own doggish way. Every school needs an Ugly!

Eric is sad to discover what is making his big sister Gretchen miserable and even meaner than usual and is determined to find a way to help her. 

With the school pet show coming up, Eric has plans for Ugly to win big time, then Ugly goes off his food and refuses to play. Eric knows something is up with his best mate.

Can Eric’s famous quiz help him with a plan to fix both Gretchen and Ugly?

My Dog is a Winner is a fun read that celebrates the gift of friendship, the joy of pets and the importance of caring for others.

Elizabeth Fensham has dedicated this book to Angela Davies, a headmistress and her dog, Chad who was a member of the school staff. I have often wished I could have a dog in my school library. My local Yarra Plenty Library branches have Doggy Tales so after school children can read to dogs who love to listen to stories.

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Thank you  to UQP for a copy of My Dog is a Winner to review. 

Happy reading!






Derek Dool is back looking for a new way to be SUPERCOOL. After accidentally going viral online, Derek is on a mission to deliberately go viral. The challenge is on for Derek to get more more online views than his archenemy Carmichael Cruz and become a SUPERCOOL internet sensation!

To go viral, should Derek do an unboxing video, a pimple popping video or maybe a cute cat video? None of Derek's ideas including Sonny the Surfing Bunny are quite working out as he expected, not even with help from Big Denise and Booger. But Derek's not the type to give up. No way! He is determined to achieve VIRAL VICTORY.

Derek's final plan to go viral at the Ruttsmell Garlic Festival is almost the last thing he ever does! It is a total riot with Derek and Cruz heading down the Ruttsmell River clinging to a runaway jumping castle. Can they put aside their rivalry to save themselves? Scott Edgar's illustrations brilliantly capture the action, danger and hilarity of their predicament.

Book Two has even more Bad Dad Jokes to make you groan and we're left still wondering what those devious crows are planning for their world domination. Big Denise's rapping goes more public than she wants and we see Booger's strength come to the fore. There's also lots of stinky garlic!

You can read the first chapter HERE

What would YOU do to go viral and become an internet sensation?

Writing funny books is not as easy as people think. In a recent interview, Adrian Beck explained how he needs to balance the plot, setting and characters while also being funny. Adrian has worked in TV production and has also watched lots of cartoon shows so when he writes his books, it's like writing a TV or cartoon show script with short sharp episodes or chapters. Scott illustrates his favourite parts and then they work as a team to discuss and adjust the text and illustrations so they work seamlessly to tell the story. Adrian and Scott definitely have lots of fun working together creating Derek's funny, action-packed adventures!

Derek Dool Supercool 3: Run For Your Life will be published in January 2021.

Happy reading!


Green Peas is our name
and pranking's our game!

Casey Wu and her best friends are the secret Green Peas group. Like some of you, they feel that no one listens when you're a kid, even when you have something really important to say. Casey, Cookie and Zeke care about how we treat our planet and combine their skills to be heard. When they discover greedy Mayor Lupphol's plans for their town of Watterson and especially Brennan Park, they are going to show the mayor that no activist is too small and no prank is too big.

My favourite Green Peas' prank was for Mayor Lupphol's visit to Watterson Primary school. It was pure genius!

Nat Amoore is an author full of energy and creativity who writes books with humour and lots of heart. She empowers kids through her characters in Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire and The Power of Positive Pranking and makes reading fun.

Nat had a great idea to promote The Power of Positive Pranking using Auslan. Read Nat's 'Did You Know' at the end of her book to find out why Auslan is important to her. Do you know any Auslan? 

An exciting moment for authors is when they receive copies of their book from the publisher. It must be an amazing feeling to finally hold a copy of your book in your hands and see your hard work and dream come true. Sometimes authors do an 'unboxing' to reveal their new book. Nat took unboxing to a whole new level with a stop motion Lego video! (Watch it a few times to see all the little stories happening in the bigger story.) Have you made any stop motion movies? They take a lot of patience!

Have a taste of The Power of Positive Pranking by watching some of our Aussie children's authors read the first chapter and a half.

Follow the Green Peas Manifesto in the chapter headings and you too can find your voice and be on your way to making a positive difference for something you care about...

Happy reading!

I don’t know about you, but the minute I hear the word NITS, my head starts itching and I start scratching! I was worried I wouldn't be able to read Tristan Bancks’ new book Nit Boy without going into a scratching frenzy.


Lewis and Ned share a head...

Lewis Snow has wild blonde hair that has never been cut. He has the worst case of nits in world history that have infected his school and town. Everyone wants him to shave his head, especially Ms Herrick his terrifying Deputy Principal. Lewis is fond of his nits and thinks of them as pets (and they can earn a little money on the side). Lewis will do whatever he can to keep his hair and his nits.

Ned lives on Lewis’ head. He is the world’s first jumping nit. Ned is a major part of his dad's plan for nits to take over the world, but he just wants to live a quiet life on Lewis’ head. Ned is also vegan and hates the taste of human blood (which is not good if you're a nit!). Will finding his mum help Ned work out who he really is?

Heath Mackenzie's fabulous illustrations in Nit Boy take the story to another level. Have fun learning how to draw Ned in this video with Heath.

If you enjoyed reading Tristan's Tom Weekly series then Nit Boy will appeal to you too. Nit Boy is a clever and funny book where Lewis and Ned take turns telling the story from their point of view. It also includes quizzes with facts that are both fun and gross and a bonus story from the Tom Weekly series - Revenge of the Nits.

Read the first chapter of Nit Boy and an interview with Tristan Bancks.

Dare I say that Ned the Nit has definitely given nits a more positive image!

Teacher notes

Happy reading!

Move over Wimpy Kid, Weirdo and Eric Vale...Derek Dool Supercool is here...


Derek Dool is desperate to prove he is SUPERCOOL! In fact he’ll do anything…

Derek wants to be the coolest kid at Ruttmore primary school. It’s not going to be easy with his red hair, freckles and ‘daggy dad’ fashion style.

The battle for King of Cool is on when Derek’s archenemy and schoolyard superstar, Carmichael Cruz challenges Derek to a dance-off at the school disco. Pity the only dance move Derek knows is The Worm!

Luckily Derek’s unlikely best ‘friends’ Big Denise and Booger are there to help (or save) him on his quest to be supercool. Big Denise is super-smart, super-patient and has a surprising hidden talent and there’s definitely a lot more to Booger than his sweet tooth. 

Derek needs to learn some dance moves…fast!! Accidentally recording himself to the school website while dancing on a table in the library is not a good move, especially when he reveals his purple unicorn undies to the world! Derek and his friends end up in detention, but luckily Derek's Detention Distraction helps them escape.

Dressed in his Dad’s Hawaiian shirt, lit up like a Christmas tree and armed with Zombie dance moves from Horrific Hoedown. Can Derek bust a move and beat Carmichael Cruz and his Cruz Crew at the disco dance-off?

Scott Edgar's lively line drawings perfectly capture Adrian's funny action-packed story and bring his characters to life. They make a great team!

Here is Adrian with Derek. Hmmm, can you see a resemblance? 


Be careful reading this book in class for silent reading because you won't be silent! Adrian Beck will have you laughing out loud and his Bad Dad Jokes might leave you groaning on the floor...

Watch out for Derek's next plan to become supercool in Derek Dool Supercool 2: Going Viral  coming in August.

Adrian's author visits are lots of fun and he has something 'special' planned for Derek Dool fans. If you would like Adrian to visit your school you could ask your teacher librarian or class teacher to book him HERE

Happy reading!




The second book in the Toffle Towers series by Tim Harris will have you laughing out loud once again.

Thanks to ten-year-old Chegwin's creativity, Toffle Towers is filling up fast with guests and even more are expected for the annual Great River Race. All is going smoothly until some of Chegwin's staff are 'reverse mugged' by two mysterious men in black. The hotel is thrown into chaos as Chegwin tries to find a solution and work out who is behind the attacks. 

When Chegwin discovers that Brontessa Braxton (owner of the rival Braxton Hotel) is the mastermind, his attempt to be kind to her backfires. Chegwin finds himself competing in the Great River Race to save both Toffle Towers and its staff from her greedy clutches. Underpants, yes underpants, will help decide the race winner!

Will you find out who is in Room 49? I'm not going to say, but you will get to explore secret tunnels hidden in Toffle Towers. There's also fun to be had at the upside-down check-in, dancing on the musical staircase and your mouth will water as you read about the newly upgraded Room 1 that is now The Lolly Room where everything is edible - yum! 

Once again James Foley's fun illustrations bring the story to life. His illustrations of nasty Brontessa Braxton are some of my favourites, especially her eyebrows!

If you enjoy funny books and taking your imagination for a walk, the Toffle Towers series is for you and great way to start your year. Fully Booked is the first book in the series and you can read more about it here.  

Watch out for Book 3 - Order in the Court that will be coming soon.

Happy reading!

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