Kids Want Funny

 October 10, 2021

By  Mick Wannenmacher

Kids need to read.  It’s a fact.  Reading develops linguistic skills, providing a solid base for future advancement and life success. In the words of educator Jim Trelease, ‘A child who reads and hears more sophisticated words has a giant advantage over a child who hasn’t’. Reading well early helps lead to academic and social success later in life.

However the problem remains that many children are reluctant to read.

As a teacher, I would often encounter students, boys and girls, who described reading as ‘boring’. However these same students regularly became engrossed in reading when presented with books that grabbed their interest. 

And what was it that got them reading most of the time?  Funny. Kids love to laugh. A survey by Scholastic showed that, the main things kids want in a book is laughs.

They laugh at silly stuff, gross stuff, weird stuff, out of this world stuff.  Tom Gates, Paul Jennings and Terry Deary. These are the authors I snatch off the shelf to get my reluctant readers giggling and reading.

Additionally I found a connection with my own teaching methods: making the class laugh.  If I could engage the kids with humour, then the dullest lesson suddenly came alive.  Most importantly, the students began to take control of their own learning, going further than the classroom to find out more.

It’s with this in mind that Andrew and I wrote Mashed Myths.  We wanted to write books that were funny. Books that had kids laughing and turning pages.  Yes, it’s about action, adventure and mythology and is educational, but it’s the humour that does the work.

And we know it works. We’ve presented a tale from Mashed Myths to over 200 middle grade children and 90% of them responded that they wanted to read more, and just as many said they liked it because it was funny and made them laugh.

We want kids reading and laughing. As a parent and a teacher, it’s hugely important to us. We think this book is going to help. 

We wrote this book because we love to laugh.  Like, a lot. It’s a wonder we get any work done when we get together (and often we don’t).

Benefits of reading

About the author 

Mick Wannenmacher

Comedian, writer, illustrator and elementary teacher, Mick splits his time between Melbourne, (Australia) and Los Angeles (Not Australia). You can track him downwhere he appears regularly on stage, playing guitar, telling jokes and generally making people laugh. When he's not writing or performing, Mick likes to play guitar (a lot), travel (even more) and cook the best Texas Chilli ever (a big call yes, but true.) He misses Australia immensely, but enjoys being able to look at the Hollywood sign while he sits in traffic. You can email Mick at or follow @gotchareading on IG/FB/Twitter

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