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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 3 August 2001
This children's classic centres on the adventures of a big skeleton, a little skeleton and a dog skeleton. They venture out from their dark dark cellar in the hope of finding someone to scare. However, since everyone is asleep in bed, they have to make do with scaring themselves. The results of which are hilarious!
One of the great things about this book is that the repetitive nature of the language ("On a dark dark hill, there was a dark dark town. In the dark dark town there was a dark dark street") means children (both readers and non-readers) can easily join in with the rhythm.
It is great fun to read the story one-to-one or with a group of children. It is sure to become a best-loved book on the book shelf. Whilst the story is funny and has great accompanying illustrations, be warned that for children younger than say four, the style and nature of the book may be a little menacing!
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on 19 February 2008
My 4 year old found this book hilarious and it was a favourite for quite a while. We had originally got it from the library but he loved it so much we bought our own copy. My son says he loves the story because 'the parrot is very naughty and says very rude things.' The parrot only says a couple of 'naughty' and 'rude' things but it obvioulsy apprealed to my sons sense of homour and was enough to make him laugh out loud every time we read it. He is 6 now and still loves it!!
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VINE VOICEon 27 May 2016
Funnybones is the instant classic children's story from 1999 written by Janet and Alllan Ahlberg. It is a great funny adventure for young listeners to enjoy. The 32 pages are brilliantly illustrated by Andre Armstutz and capture the excitement of the skeletal trio attempting to have some fun on a dark, dark night.

Originally released in 1980, Funnybones has not aged a day. It is still just as brilliant as it ever was. Having spawned a television series the work made its way into popular culture.

The opening and closing of Funnybones is particularly dramatic. The dark, dark location where everything happens imprints into the mind. When read in the same kind of voice as the television show it has particular effect. The phrasing could be a little bit scary for the most sensitive small people but it is exciting as well.

The characters are simple and clear, the way an early listener's books should be. The Big Skeleton seems a pretty easy going guy, saying "good idea" all the time. The little skeleton is the one who wants to try things. The dog skeleton ends up being a bit clumsy.

A couple of songs help the flow of the book. They're good fun and easy to sing along with.

The artwork is really quite special. It has a childlike quality to it which attracts the target audience with its bold imagery and the clear contrasts of black and white.

A great and somewhat quirky story for young book enthusiasts. It has been well received by those aged 2-5 and may well continue for a couple of years more.
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on 20 August 2009
In a dark, dark memory...
I used to love this a child and I still love it now! Although Amber doesn't sit still long enough to listen to me reading it to her she loves looking at all the pictures. They are nice and vivid colours. If your child likes books like these Meg and Mog are another good one!
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on 4 June 2014
My son had this book when he was young. He's now grown up. My daughter remembered the book and asked about it for her young children. I don't know what happened to it, so ordered a new copy. I read the book the moment it arrived. It's just as funny and well illustrated as I remember. I'm sure my grandchildren (and my son and daughter) will love it.
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on 16 November 2013
This is a great story for young children. The pictures are bold, the story is funny, and also scary! I love to read it aloud to little ones who can easily help to read the captions.
I always enjoy the Ahlbergs' stories and would recommend them to any parent or teacher of young children.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 January 2016
Storyline - It introduces the skeletons - a big skeleton, a little skeleton and a dog skeleton. They live in a dark dark cellar of a dark dark house on a dark dark hill and so the word repetition continues through this light-hearted story for early readers. The skeletons venture out of their cellar one night to find someone to scare, but everyone is in bed so they amuse themselves by scaring each other and playing with the skeleton animals that live in the zoo.

Themes: -the body, bones, family, friends.

Activity ideas:
- Children could make a moving skeleton using card and split pins.
- Children could make their own funny bones puppets
- Children could create their own story like the funny bones story
- Children could create a character profile for each Skeleton
- Children could learn about skeletons and why they are important for our bodies.
- Children could compare skeletons of human bodies and animals e.g. the dog.
- Children could create skeleton pictures using black paper and white straws.
- Children could draw a map of the skeletons town.

Would recommend to early years teachers and parents!
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on 14 October 2004
It's AMAZING! The dramatic plot twists are archetypal of the children's adventure genre. In short, IT ROCKS! I think this book will appeal to the child in all of us. A great way for kids to learn as it juxtaposes humour and biological science as it intergrates to bone structure. The dramatic irony of the mishaps of the midnight trip keeps the audience in suspense and anticipation as to the story's climax. The typical genre conventions such as the full moon, the dark dark house, and the dark dark street, are the epitome of child ghost stories. READ IT! TJ.
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on 11 December 2014
I remember having this book when i was a young boy, and now that i have a son of my own it is great to be able to read it to him. He loves the pictures repetitive structure of the writing.
This is a must have childrens book for all little ones.
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on 14 November 2014
Fantastic book. I bought this to compliment a Funnybones collection which I have bought my son already, unfortunately it didn't include the original story. This arrived promptly and was in great condition for a second hand book.
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