Funny Australian kids books to brighten your summer

What better way to spend your summer holidays than getting some giggles and belly laughs? Here are our picks of funny books for kids aged 7-12.


The Odds by Matt Stanton

Kip is a quiet and shy kid who struggles to fit in at school. She’s easy to miss and that’s the way she likes it. But when ten characters from her favourite comics, picture books, TV shows and video games – and her nightmares too – show up in real life, Kip is inspired to think differently about herself. Matt Stanton, bestselling author of the Funny Kid series, has crafted an action-packed graphic novel that’s full of zany situations, and comforting ideas about identity, imagination and self acceptance.

For ages 7 and up.


The Mystery of the Squashed Cockroach by R.A. Spratt

When April, Finn and Joe Peski come home from school one day to find their palaeontologist mother missing, they’re forced to go and live with their dad in a small country town. Things are … different in Currawong. The townsfolk are obsessed with their annual cockroach race, and the Peski kids pretend they’re interested. But after cockroaches start dying and suspicion falls on them – the siblings must team up with their sociopathic neighbour Loretta and a dog called Pumpkin to get to the bottom of things. Nanny Piggins and Friday Barnes author R.A. Spratt has delivered another wonderful comedy mystery with a cast of quirky characters.

For ages 8 and up.


Funny Bones edited by Oliver Phommavanh, Kate Temple & Jol Temple

This super-chunky collection of over 100 short stories, cartoons, comics, jokes, quizzes and poems will keep kids laughing all summer. Some of Australia’s funniest people, including Zoe Foster Blake, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton, Hannah Gadsby, Lawrence Leung, Tom Jellett, Gus Gordon, Danny Katz, Mitch Vane, Sally Rippin, Tristan Bancks and The Listies, have contributed to this anthology. Young readers might even find their new favourite author in the process.

For ages 8 and up.


The Power of Positive Pranking by Nat Amoore

Casey and her friends learn their local Mayor has nefarious plans for their town – plans that disregard the environment and rely on the town’s voting-aged citizens remaining disengaged from their civic duties. Thankfully, Casey – inspired by her favourite photo of her mum chained to a tree saving a local park – is not as apathetic as the adults of Watterson. She’s part of a clandestine activist organisation, Green Peas, with her friends Cookie and Zeke, and the trio unleash a wave of outrageous pranks designed to highlight serious issues in their town. A very funny – and very principled – caper.

For ages 9 and up.


The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst by Jaclyn Moriarty

When Esther returns to Katherine Valley Boarding School for another year, she has a couple of interesting new classmates. There’s an odd teacher who is possibly an ogre, and two of her best friends are missing. Esther hears talk of evil shadow mages and witches lurking in the nearby mountains. As secrets and dangers escalate, Esther must find the answers to several puzzles, and it’s even possible that there might be a connection with the recently-returned Stolen Prince of Cloudburst. How can ordinary Esther save her family, her school and possibly her entire world? This truly imaginative magical standalone adventure from Jaclyn Moriarty is genuinely hilarious.

For ages 9 and up.


How to Write the Soundtrack to Your Life by Fiona Hardy

Shy Murphy Parker would love to be a songwriter, but for now, music is something she shares with just her dad. But when a new music program at school exposes her talents and wins her the admiration of her schoolmates, Murphy wonders if maybe her dreams have a chance after all. Until her entire grade accuses her of plagiarism. Desperate to clear her name, Murphy makes an unlikely alliance with two new friends and tracks down the song thief… Fiona Hardy’s second novel has a huge heart and explores some serious family issues, but it also has laugh-out-loud dialogue and uses the quirks of its young characters to great comedic effect.

For ages 9 and up.


The Carbon-Neutral Adventures of the Indefatigable EnviroTeens by First Dog on the Moon

This anarchic graphic novel by well-known cartoonist First Dog on the Moon follows a group of teen superheroes who are determined to clean the planet and clear the air. The EnviroTeens are Binky, aka The Monotreme!– Worried Norman, once bitten by a radioactive croissant and now Pastry Person! – Letitia, an occasionally bossy science-wombat and genius inventor! Together they take on Singleuse Plastic Brendan, an evil and conniving plastic bag who lives on a garbage island in the middle of the ocean … If you love political satire, all-around absurd chaos or the Dog Man books, then this homegrown hilarity will delight.

For ages 10 and up.


You Must Be Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Layla’s first week on a scholarship at Mary Maxmillion Grammar School, does not go as planned and she soon finds herself in trouble with some of her new schoolmates and teachers. Impulsive, gregarious and always with something to say, Layla makes a core group of friends easily, but also has to grapple with the best ways to respond to racism and Islamophobia, and proving she’s worthy of her place at the school. This very relatable novel, full of comedic moments, is a great read for every tween who has ever felt misunderstood by everyone around them (and wants to laugh about it).

Look out for the upcoming sequel, Listen, Layla, which will be released on 2 February 2021.

For ages 10 and up.

The Carbon-Neutral Adventures of the Indefatigable EnviroTeens

The Carbon-Neutral Adventures of the Indefatigable EnviroTeens

First Dog on the Moon

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