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Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlists unveiled

13th September 2011

The shortlists for the 2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prize have been unveiled, with six books nominated in each of the categories.

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere and Peter Bently's Cats Ahoy! are among the contenders in the Funniest Book for Children Aged Six category, along with First Week at Cow School by Andy Cutbill.

Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson, David Mackintosh's Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School and A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon are also in contention.

In the Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to 14 category, former Monty Python star Terry Jones has been nominated for Animal Tales, alongside The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon and Rose Impey's The Get Rich Quick Club.

Letters from an Alien Schoolboy by Ros Asquith, Joanna Nadin's Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster and The Wrong Pong by Steven Butler complete the shortlist.

The winning book in each category will receive GBP 2,500 and be determined by combining the votes of the judging panel with those of 400 schoolchildren across the UK.

Children's author Michael Rosen, chair of the judging panel, said the Roald Dahl Funny Prize promotes laughter and humour as a 'feel-good factor' when reading.

'Parents, teachers and anyone hoping to get children hooked on books will find 12 here to have you all giggling and laughing. These are books that are inventive, clever, warm and strong on observing our quirks and foibles,' he added.

The publication of the list coincides with Roald Dahl Day, an annual event taking place today to mark the birthday of the celebrated author.

This year, the event is being used to draw attention to the badly-needed restoration work at the hut in which Dahl wrote many of his most beloved stories.

Sophie Dahl, the author's granddaughter, has launched a campaign to raise the GBP 500,000 needed to return the hut, located in the garden of his old house in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, to its original state.

Since Dahl died in 1990, the outhouse has been left untouched but is now on the verge of collapse, after two decades of weather damage.

While the repairs are being carried out, the contents of the hut, including Dahl's many writing implements, will be moved to a nearby museum for safekeeping.

This year's Roald Dahl Day will also see hundreds of events taking place across the globe to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dahl's first full-length children's story, James and the Giant Peach.

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