Can you believe that Funnybones is forty this year? Forty years ago this fabulous children’s book was created by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. This is definitely a favourite of mine and we’ve been enjoying it throughout October alongside our Halloween activities.
This is the first in the Funnybones series where we’re introduced to the skeletons who live in a dark dark cellar in a dark dark house in a dark dark town. The big skeleton, little skeleton and dog skeleton are not the scary sort, they are very entertaining in fact.
One evening, the skeletons go out for a walk to try to frighten people, but as everyone is asleep they have fun playing in the park and meeting some of the skeleton animals from the zoo. They then decide to frighten each other, all the way home.
The repetition throughout the story is great for early readers, as are the images which are bright, bold and eye-catching.
It’s particularly nice for younger children to enjoy the funny side of these skeleton characters. Pip likes it when the dog skeleton chases a stick and ends up as a pile of bones, suggesting that they could tape him back together again. The skeletons do get a little confused when trying to reassemble him and dog skeleton ends up looking rather strange!
I used to read this one a lot in the classroom, especially around this time of year and it was always well received. The children experimented with some fun skeleton art too, using chalk on black paper to draw their favourite character. It’s also quite effective to draw a white skeleton on a black background using a paint program on a computer or tablet.
This is a must have for the book shelf at home or in the classroom – a fun read for young children and lots of potential activities to enjoy alongside it. Look out for the fortieth anniversary addition too, which features glow-in-the-dark skeletons on the cover – super exciting for bedtime reading.
I hope you have a happy Halloween!