Every reasonable human being has loved at least one Roald Dahl story—James And The Giant Peach, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox. And so it was fitting that, in 2008, then-British Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen established the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in conjunction with Booktrust and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate. Since then, more than 900 children have helped judge what’s funny in England, awarding the Funny Prize to 10 books overall, including Withering Tights by Louise Rennison and Dark Lord: The Teenage Years by Jamie Thomson. Between the winners and shortlists, Rosen says that over the past six years, the Funny Prize has celebrated “72 books across two age categories” and has “rewarded 87 authors and illustrators.”
But apparently the U.K. has run out of funny authors and funny books, because Booktrust announced today that it was “pausing” the prize until 2016, when it will “re-launch as part of the Roald Dahl Centenary celebrations.” Booktrust doesn’t give many more details than that, so it’s unclear why the successful and popular prize is suddenly being put on hold. But if you’re looking for a funny book for somebody 6 and under, or for somebody 7 to 14—or hell, for yourself—you can see previous winners and shortlists on Booktrust’s website.
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