If there’s one book that will be on every David Walliams fan’s ‘to read’ list then it has to be the latest one from the man himself; The World’s Worst Children 2. In this collection of short stories we get to meet ten horrible little boys and girls with disgusting habits that are sure to land them in trouble.
With characters such as Nigel Nit-Boy; a boy who has a cloud of nits around his head that help him fly and will attack people on command, Peter Picker; a boy who is trying to set the world record for the biggest snot ball, and Sofia Sofa; a girl who loves watching TV so much that she’s starting to turn into the sofa she’s always sat on, this is a laugh-out-loud collection of naughty and gross characters that children are sure to love.
If you’re looking for a story with a cast of characters that will have you laughing out loud at every turn, then look no further than Mark Lowery’s The Jam Doughnut That Ruined My Life.
Roman Garstang is obsessed with food, but his absolute favourite are raspberry jam doughnuts. That is until his Monday morning doughnut triggers a series of bizarre mishaps that sends Roman on a manic adventure of a week. From giving his teacher’s guinea pig a blue Mohawk to discovering that his new girlfriend is in a fact a doughnut digger, Roman’s misfortunate week is full of hilarious, gross and quirky events that will have children and parents howling with laughter. Perfect for children who can’t help giggling at all the gross bits in their favourite Walliams books.
David Baddiel has established himself as a favourite author for many young readers, with adventurous stories full of humour and mischief that keep children gripped from the first page. In his latest story – Animalcom – we meet Malcolm who, despite disliking animals and the pets that his home is full of, is sent on a school trip to a farm. Little does Malcolm know that he’s about to experience what life is really like for the animals, as he wakes up as one of them himself!
Switching between various animals’ bodies, Malcolm learns all about their different abilities and quirks, before finally realising who he wants to be. Funny, fascinating and with a heart-warming story that grips from page one, you’ll be glad you added David Baddiel to your bookshelves.
We know that a child who hasn’t read Roald Dahl is hard to find, but we couldn’t put together a list of book recommendations for David Walliams readers without including at least one Roald Dahl book. George’s Marvellous Medicine is an imaginative and funny story of a little boy who makes a magic medicine using ingredients from around the house for his horrible, bossy grandma.
When his grandma blows up like a balloon and then grows so tall that she bursts through the roof, George’s dad spots an idea to grow farm animals and solve world hunger. But George can’t remember the recipe for his medicine, and all sorts of weird and wacky things are happening to the chickens he’s testing his new medicines on. Funny, imaginative and with a healthy dose of kids getting revenge on nasty adults, this story is perfect for Walliams readers who enjoy seeing characters get their just desserts.
If you love the quirky tone of Walliams’s books then we think you’ll really enjoy the debut children’s book by radio DJ Greg James and journalist Chris Smith. With a strong voice that bursts from the page and compels you to keep reading, Greg’s book is as unputdownable as many Walliams books.
In Kid Normal we meet Murph, who has been dragged to a new school year after year as his mum changes jobs, and has started to give up on the idea of making friends or settling into yet another new house. But then his mum mistakenly enrols Murph in a school for kids with special powers or “capes” (special capabilities), and soon Murph is dealing with heroes, villains and powers he’d never imagined before. Full of adventures and characters that feel like friends, we think this is just the start of our obsession with Greg James’s writing.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t want a best friend who is secretly an alien visiting Earth to find reasons not to destroy it and who appears to be a dog to everyone but you? When Prez answers the door of his new foster family to Sputnik, he has no idea that this alien in disguise is about to take him on an adventure around the globe to uncover ten things worth keeping on Planet Earth.
Full of mishaps and hilarious moments, this story is fun and easy to read, but it’s Sputnik’s laugh-out-loud character that really make it stand out from the pack. With some touching themes of dementia and foster care, this is the perfect mix of humour and serious topics. Frank Cottrell Boyce is another author you may find becomes a regular on your bookshelf.
If you’re looking for something to capture your imagination like Walliams does, then Andy Griffiths’ Treehouse series may be just what the doctor ordered. Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. And not just any treehouse… a multi-storey treehouse with a few additions, including an underground laboratory, shark tank, bowling alley, drive-thru car wash, all-ball sports stadium and much, much more.
With each book in the series, the boys add more and more levels to their masterpiece, leading to more fun and adventures to be had. With lots of wonderful illustrations too, we don’t think Walliams readers will be disappointed.
Not all comedians-turned-author can tailor their humour to kids in the way that Walliams has done, but David O’Doherty is one that your kids won’t want to miss. His Danger Is Everywhere series introduces us to the world’s greatest dangerologist – Docter Noel Zone – who has put together a School of Danger handbook to help keep us all out of harm’s way.
Dangerous scenarios include what to do if a shark comes up in the loo whilst you’re sitting on it and how to tell if your granny is a robot. David’s imaginative humour is perfect for fans of Walliams.
David Walliams’s books are known for making kids feel powerful, and radio DJ Christian O’Connell’s debut children’s book – Radio Boy – does just that, with a story about an awkward 11 year old boy who secretly hosts a radio show in his garden shed. It doesn’t take long for Spike’s radio show to become the talk of the school, but all that attention is sure to spell trouble sooner or later.
Spike is a smart and hilarious character with insecurities that we’re sure many children (and adults!) can relate to. And with the ambition to follow his interests, and make a success of his radio show with the help of his friends, we think Spike may well inspire a few little ones to pursue their hobbies too.
Julian Clary is another comedian-turned-author who has successfully turned his humour into laugh-out-loud stories for kids. His books about The Bolds – a family of hyenas in disguise who love to laugh – are very popular with little ones and great fun to read (if you don’t mind groaning at a few of the Christmas cracker jokes).
In their latest escapade, the family head off for a summer holiday in Cornwall. But when they get into trouble with a dognapper, their seaside trip turns into a rescue mission that could blow their cover.
Lissa Evans’ first step into children’s books with Small Change for Stuart earned her a place on three prestigious awards shortlists and earned her place as a children’s author to watch. Now her second children’s book – Wed Wabbit – is causing lots of excitement with its imaginative Alice-in-Wonderland type tale.
When Fidge and her hypochondriac cousin Graham tumble into the Land of Wimbley Woos – the setting of Fidge’s sister’s favourite book – they find that a cruel dictator is in charge and the wimbley woos are in trouble. With vivid characters, lots of humour and a deep message about embracing our differences, Wed Wabbit is a heart-warmer that children will fall in love with.
One of the best things about Walliams books is undoubtedly their strong voice. Fun and easy to read, you can’t help but get drawn into the story. Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are narrated by Greg Heffley as he deals with the struggles of school and his embarrassing family. Written in diary-form and with plenty of hilarious illustrations, the Wimpy Kid books are particularly great for reluctant readers.
Old School is the tenth book in the series and sees Greg and his family give up electronics and lead an old fashioned way of life. As you might expect, the ordeal soon causes tension in the Heffley household.
Another book on our list that can empower children like a Walliams story is Clare Balding’s debut, The Horse Who Wouldn’t Gallop. Ten year old horse-obsessed Charlie is a fantastic role model for little ones and works hard to try and save her family from losing their home.
When Charlie accidently buys a racehorse – Noble Warrior – she begins training for Derby Day. If they win, she can stop the family farm from being repossessed. The only trouble is, Noble Warrior simply won’t gallop, or leave his naughty best friend – Percy the Pony’s – side for that matter. Heart-warming, hilarious and with endearing illustrations by Tony Ross, we think youngsters will love Clare’s fantastic characters.
Adrian Edmondson is another comedian with a knack for making children laugh. In his new debut children’s book – Tilly and the Time Machine – he’s written a naturally funny story of a little girl whose dad invents a time machine and accidently gets stuck in the past. As Tilly travels back through world history to help her dad, she also faces the personal tragedy of her mother’s death and a moment in her own past that she longs to return to.
Poignant, heart-felt and with plenty of funny moments, the mix of serious and funny topics is sure to strike a chord with Walliams fans.
Liz Pichon’s Tom Gates series is another great one for reluctant readers. Told in diary-form, Tom shares his dislike of school, adventures with his band and the pranks that often land him in trouble, with lots of humour and lively characters. Wonderfully illustrated and great fun to read, the Tom Gates books are a great series to pick up if you’re looking for something exciting to read after Walliams.
Super Good Skills (Almost…) is the tenth book in the series and follows Tom and his family (including his annoying sister Delia) as they head off on a camping holiday.
David Walliams never shies away from tricky subjects in his stories, and if you’re looking for another author who can address difficult themes with humour and sensitivity then Jacqueline Wilson is your lady.
In her latest book – Wave Me Goodbye – she sets her story during World War Two when ten year old Shirley is evacuated to a strange house with the reclusive Mrs Waverley. With a strong and engaging voice and characters that quickly feel like friends, Jacqueline Wilson’s books should definitely make an appearance on every Walliams fan’s bookshelf.
Danny Wallace’s Hamish series is a big hit with Walliams fans already, and his latest release in the series – Hamish and the Gravity Burp – is set to be another big success. The story begins when Hamish finds his mum and brother lying flat on their backs on the ceiling. The villainous burps are back, and this time they’re messing with gravity.
With fun and fantastic illustrations from Jamie Littler, including a plant-monster flip book at the bottom of the pages, little ones will have loads of fun with Hamish and his friends.
David Solomon’s first children’s book – My Brother is a Superhero – was a huge hit with little ones, and his follow-up books have continued to please with laugh-out-loud stories and unforgettable characters.
In his latest adventure – My Evil Twin is a Supervillain – Luke meets Stellar, his evil twin who has travelled across time and space to finally crash land in Ikea. Luke is sure that Stellar means trouble, but he needs to convince the other members of S.C.A.R.F. (the Superhero Covert Alliance Reaction Force) before they can put a stop to his evil plans.
If you’re looking for pages of laugh-out-loud humour and absurd characters, the Mr Gum series is for you. Mr Gum is a horrible old man who hates children and animals and does not like fun.
When Jake the Dog damages Mr Gum’s garden and Mr Gum decides to take deadly action to stop him, it’s down to a little girl called Polly and old man Friday O’Leary to save him. With characters such as the angry fairy who lives in Mr Gum’s bathtub and hits him with a frying pan for not looking after his garden, this is a hilarious series that children will fly through.
Einstein’s Underpants and How They Saved the World by Anthony McGowan
Fun and with lots of naughty bits for kids to laugh at, Anthony McGowan’s imaginative story of an alien invasion that can only be thwarted by a young maths geek and his band of school superheroes is ideal for Walliams fans.
Alexander ends up with the task of saving the world from aliens after his eccentric Uncle Otto warns him of their attack. Alexander sets about auditioning his school friends to help him defeat them, and soon Tortoise Boy, Human Hurricane and Really Annoying Girl are armed with toy ray-guns and a pair of Einstein’s pants, ready to save the world.