Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

There was a dark, dark house and in the dark, dark house lived some skeletons. A big skeleton and a little skeleton head out one night to walk the dog skeleton – and to frighten people. First they go to the park to play. The dog skeleton runs into a tree and ends up a pile of bones. As the skeletons figure out how to put the dog bones together correctly, they sing the song ‘Dem Bones’ and we are treated to an iconic and hilarious anatomy lesson. Afterwards, the trio head to the zoo to look at the animal skeletons, and then it is finally time to frighten people!

It’s very easy to understand why this Ahlberg classic has become lodged into the brains of so many readers since it was first published in 1980. Designed with comic-style panels, the images are bold and simple yet exquisitely executed. The colours and the use of black are particularly striking, and speech bubbles encourage everyone reading along to join in.

The Ahlbergs are the best to ever do it, and Funnybones perfectly encapsulates the joy of a fright and a rowdy excursion with friends. It may be Halloween this month, but Funnybones is forever!

Perfect to share with readers ages 3+.

Kim Gruschow is from Readings St Kilda.

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Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg

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