Funny Girls

I drank my tea and ate my toast while watching some breakfast television show with Philip Ardagh doing his utmost to avoid mentioning that the Louises had won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. I kept thinking he’d slip up. (Sorry, P.)

Glad to hear that many children’s authors are both short and funny. Like their books. Which would make a certain person’s books extremely long… (Or is that a tall book..?)

Last year’s winner (that’s Philip again) looked quite presentable (this is turning into some lowlife glossy magazine) with freshly trimmed beard and hair and he seemed to have the tickling of small children down to a fine art. I don’t know where they could have found quite such tiny and cute children. And getting them out of bed even earlier than I had crawled downstairs. The little boy favoured Where’s Wally, which was not on the shortlist, but if you ask a child a question, you get an answer.

Philip wrote in the Guardian on Saturday about the trials (and the odd bit of fun) of judging the prize. It’s a relief to learn that not all funny books are funny. And just because you think you are Julia Donaldson and believe you write like her, doesn’t mean you are or that you can.

Louise Rennison

Louise Yates and Louise Rennison can. Write funny, if not necessarily Gruffalo style. Louise Yates won the younger award for Dog Loves Books, inspired by one of the other shortlistees, Quentin Blake. And Louise Rennison triumphed with Withering Tights, which is such a delicious title.

I have adored the Rennison (here I thought it was going to be labour saving having two winners with the same name, whereas I now have to resort to surnames…) titles for years. I’ve never read her books, but each time I spy a new one I pause and enjoy the sheer wittiness of the title.

As a girl who likes humour, I’m more than satisfied with this double female win.

5 responses to “Funny Girls

  1. V. Kathryn Evans

    I’ve always loved Rennison’s books and was delighted to have a daughter at just the right age to give me an excuse to ‘vet’ them! I’m going to read Withering Tights just because I want to – Hoorah for Funny Books :O)

  2. I’d never met Louise R before, but really enjoyed exchanging insults with her during the ceremony. She’s a great sport and a lot of fun and thoroughly deserves her gong. If only these things were decided on the basis of who needs the money the most …

  3. … it might still not be you!

    But I know what you mean.Those who have, get more.

  4. So glad to hear that Louise Rennison won. That gets a cheer from me. She is one of the few really funny writers for teenagers. One of the few who can make me laugh, anyway – which might not be the same thing, I grant, but she doesn’t have to rely on toilets or bodily functions to get a laugh and is genuinely witty.

  5. I’ll take that as a recommendation, Celia.

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