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Boys Just Wanna Have Fun (Reading)

Does your boy resist reading?  Having difficulty getting them to pick up that book? The solution? Laughter is indeed the best medicine.

Two years ago, when struggling with getting my then-K2 to start reading on a more regular basis, I picked out a "Humor book" from NLB. I still remember vividly, how ds1 complained that there were a lot of pages (about 60 pages) in that book. Pinning on the hope that he may be enticed by the funny story and finish the whole book in one sitting (actually there are only a few lines in each of the 60 pages), I merely told him that he could stop after 3-4 pages and continue the next day if he wished. 20 minutes later, he told me (proudly) that he finished the whole book and the story is quite funny. Bingo! So hence started our journey down the funny lane….

1.Horrible Series Handbooks (Suitable for K2 to P1)

From the many discussions in the forum, the popularity of this series of non-fiction books is undeniable. Besides the easy-to-read format, what makes this series a hit with my boy is its humour. Parents with children who are reluctant readers should start off with Horrible Series’ Handbooks – they are fully coloured and not too thick or intimidating to the child. Even my N2 boy loves to look and laugh at the graphic squishy brain featured in the many pages of Horrible Science Handbooks’ ‘Bulging Brain Experiments’ (by Nick Arnold) and his ‘Monster Boy’, a stitched-up character who is a regular in these books (ok, maybe they are a bit too gory for preschoolers, so do exercise discretion ;))

2.Of Mice and Men Boys (Suitable for K2 – Lower Pri)

Mice in the form of Stilton and Thea (in Geronimo Stilton series) is a hit with lower primary students. Wimps like The Wimpy Kid (by Jeff Kinney) and our very own Local Amos in Diary of Amos Lee (by Adeline Foo)tickled the reader with their unusual yet usual whinny encounters.

Then we discovered Stink (by Megan McDonald).  What’s up with boys’ interest in slapstick humor




3. Alternative Fairtale Stories (Suitable for K2-P1)

Seriously, they are very silly stories. To my boy, they make Classic Fairytale’s storyline appeared lame. They are stories that poke fun at our beloved classics. Laurence Anholt’s Seriously Silly Stories is a hit with my boys (he even has the Seriously Silly Colours Series for my N2).




4.Exaggerated Stories (Suitable for Preschoolers)

Imagine, ham that is green, hopping on your dad (pop), moo-ing like a cow; these are Dr Seuss Classics that attract toddlers by their exaggerated characters and storyline. My N2 (and my) favs will have to be some of the other books in the Seuss Series – Because a Little Bug went Ka-Choo (for maximum reading pleasure, remember to add in those sound effects!), and Peter Eastman’s Fred and Ted’s funny adventures. Or fly away with Tedd Arnold’s Fly Guy to find out how this small a disgusting bug can draw out that big a laugh from your little guy – and Fly Guy’s books have shiny covers too!

So, for parents of reluctant readers (particularly boys), junk those classic Gingerbread man or boring goodie-two shoes books and start laughing away!

(PS: So, what funny books have you read with your kids recently? Share away!)


I may try the horrible science

Great article! It really helped! I may try the horrible science books. My ds may like those! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for sharing!!

Thank you for sharing!!very useful article!

Books without Words

another one, a book without words, so that mummy need not have to be worried about reading all the words on the page when the kid is already fussing to go onto the next page –

Title : One Frog Too Many

Author : Mercer Mayer


I ‘narrate’ the story according to the pictures and also asked the kid how each character felt (based on their expression) and whether what the frog did is correct.

There are other Frog series too, but i like this the most.


one more recommendation for preschool books in NLB for preschoolers (not just for boys) who love Alphabets –

Title : Alphabet Mystery

Author: Audrey Wood

Call No.: J P Woo

Read Review here:


am trying to get hold of Alphabet Adventure at CCK library….


my nursery boy resist colouring too….like my now-P2 boy too. tracing-wise i got affordable wipe-clean tracing books from Popular Bookstore (Priddy Books brand is not affordable, so you can try scouting around the Chinese-for-kids shelf as some Popular Bookstore carry numbers or letters wipe-clean books by Novum Publishing) – ds2 only want to trace each letter once or twice though, but it is good enough for me for the moment. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anymore recommendations for kids in Nursery

Thanks for sharing! My son just refused to sit down to read or do tracing or coloring, and he’s in Nursery now.. Is there any good books for kids in Nursery?


Murderous Math

thanks khongel,

will try that again cos we picked out one for my P2 and he only likes the comic part….


Fly High, Fly Guy


glad you like that fly!

our first is Fly High too; my boy likes the drove and drove, the fly feasting in the green slime as well as the ‘road map’ – little boys who love cars will surely love this book.


Murderous Math

Hi jedamum,

My son likes to read Horrible science books too! I can recommend a book for your son.

It is Murderous Math! Call number is at around [508-515]maybe?

ย Hi, jedamum! Managed to

 Hi, jedamum!

Managed to get 2 of the Fly Guy books from the library, and lucky, too!  The rest of the Fly Guy series are all on loan!!!  The series seems to be in high demand ๐Ÿ™‚

You’re right about the book cover counting much for kids  – it’s the first thing they see and will judge from there whether they would like to read it or not.  So i think the children’s book covers need to be appealing.  My boy liked the sparkly/shiny covers of the books!  We read together the 2 books ("Fly High, Fly Guy" and "Super Fly Guy") in less than 10 mins!  This is with sound effects, too ๐Ÿ˜€  He likes the part where there are 2 pages of  "and drove and droves" in "Fly High, Fly Guy."

Thanks mucho again for the recommendations!

cover of books when it comes to children’s books, we can actually ‘judge a book by its cover’.

b y just looking at the

b y just looking at the picture on the cover page, the books look appealing already.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Gonna try the Fly Guy

Hi jedamum,

Thanks for the recommendations.  Am gonna try and see if library has Fly Guy.  Looks like a ‘cool’ book


You have achieved success if you have lived well, laughed often and loved much – Anon

jedamum, thanks for the tip


thanks for the tip again!  was disappointed that i worked late again and thus no time to pop by the library to get the books.  I will do it tomorrow after dinner with the kids!

mummy of 2,

I tried the comics – my boy ran off too.  he prefers to watch the cartoon.  I have the ben ten comics and fun activity books.  you can either get them from popular bookstore or order online.

Thanks for sharing!

 Hi, Jedamum!

Thanks for the recommendations!  Can’t wait to try some of them on DS1 ๐Ÿ™‚  He’s 4yo but he (thankfully) can read and is interested in books.  It’s a hit-and-miss with him, sometimes, when i bring home books for him.  But when he just can’t find anything else to do (or make a mess of, haha!), he browses his bookshelf and  gets something he hasn’t read yet (translation: he has forgotten he didn’t like the book the first time he has seen it).  Will go to the library soon!  Many thanks again!


then your boy should love the horrible science booklets; very colourful, bitesize info and funny illustrations.

and…where to get Ben10 comics?? had ban Ben10 cartoons already (unsubscribed out starhub cable) although ds2 still sleeps with his Omnitrix.

Hi Jedamum ย  Thanks for

Hi Jedamum


Thanks for the recommendations. My boys love to read comics, such as Ben Ten, Naruto, Dragonball etc. They picked up a lot of vocabs from the drama or cartoon subtitles too. I know it is difficult for them to sit and read the entire book, so what I do is that I make them read at least one chapter per day. That’s probably about 10 to 15 mins a day. Well, I guess it’s better than not reading anything at all. They will only read more than one chapter if they find the book extremely interesting. Currently, both are on Geronimo stilton. They are fascinated by the coloured pictures and maps.

Comics is another option

Thanks for the wonderful list. I will KIV for when DS1 can read. Besides these books, desperate parents can also consider buying comic books. As there are lots of pictures, and less text, the kids may be less intimidated.

Just my 2 cents.




tree nymph

while you can search under ANH for Seriously silly stories or MAC for Stink’s books, you’ll have to use NLB’s system to search for the Horrible Series’ call number – i did the hardway of browsing through all the shelves!


hI jedamum, Thanks for the

hI jedamum,

Thanks for the recommended reads!  I’ve a P1 boy who simply dislikes reading!  The minute he sees book, he will run away.  I managed to teach him to read with lots of heartaches, pains and lots of ‘lost blood’ (because I teach him until vomit blood!).  Today, I will go to to NLB to borrow a few of the recommended books to try and see if it (better still, ALL) will entice him to read.

I hope he will!

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