Parts: Humor

Parts2Arnold, Tedd.  Parts. New York: Puffin, 1997.

The guest blog on puns, I recently posted was the first of two on humor.  I expect you could write an endless string of blogs on this subject, but for now I will stick with two.  Let’s face it, laughing and smiling are human behaviors.  Think about a very young, child playing peek-a-boo with a parent. It is a silly game and both are delighted with the activity.  I recently watch a short video of my one-year-old nephew playing this game with his momma. They both were clearly enjoying the game and were crowing with laughter.

As they grow and learn, jokes, riddles and puns are a way children learn to play with words and ideas.  Think of this knock, knock joke (one I heard many times from my girls).

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Banana
Banana who?

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Banana
Banana who?

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Orange.
Orange who?
Orange, you glad I didn’t say banana.

Some of the humor in this joke comes from association that bananas and oranges are both fruit and that orange sound a little like “aren’t”. I love young humor!  It can be infectious! Jokes like this one and others help children learn the interplay between words, sounds, context and meaning¹. They learn to move beyond the standard meaning of a word or words to look for other interpretations of what they heard².

Laughing is so good for you!  You know, Reader’s Digest has been running the section, “Laughter Is the Best Medicine,” for as long as I can remember.  It was their small way to bring better health to the masses.  Laughter relaxes you, boosts your immune system, and burns calories among other benefits³.

I encourage you to read a silly book to a young child.  It is delightful to hear their giggles! Here is a suggestion for you.  As I was looking for a book on puns for young children at the bookstore, I came across Parts by Tedd Arnold. It is not a book with puns, but is a very silly book.  It made me laugh!  What better book to share in an article on humor.

Do you have a worrier?  This young man is a champion worrier! Do hairs in the comb mean he is going bald?  Do boogers dripping from his nose mean his brains are leaking out?  Oh, woe, does the discovery of belly button fuzz signify the beginning of the loss of his internal stuffing?

Read this go book with a young friend and see what “parts” this boy does or doesn’t loose.  Maybe they have had a similar experience!

Here are two fun puns to enjoy.

  • Why did Tigger stick his head down the toilet??? He was looking for Pooh
  • What do you call a blind dinosaur? A Doyouthinkhesawus

Here are some supplemental articles that I found interesting and enlightening.

Go forth laugh, giggle, chortle, snort, snigger, crow, or howl.  Get even with you children or friends and make them groan with an excellent putn! Teach a child the value of a good pun and play with language!

  1. Pollack, John. The Pun Also Rises. New York: Gotham Books, 2011, p. xxiii.
  2. Language-Based Humor Development in Children: Jokes, Puns, and Riddles. https://prezi.com/-obsr5mq8rb8/language-based-humor-development-jokes-puns-riddles/
  3. Laughter Is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

My Dad the Magnificent

Parker, Kristy. My Dad the Magnificent. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 1987.

Happy Father’s Day!  Here is a great book for Father’s Day.  It is about a boy and his Dad.  Buddy’s Dad wears a suit, works in an office, and has meetings.  He isn’t a lion tamer or a cowboy or a deep-sea diver.  What make him magnificent to Buddy?  Saturdays!  Buddy and his Dad spend Saturdays together.  From breakfast to bedtime, they work and play together.  Here’s the wonderful end to this story.

Then he hugs me real tight, and he says, “I love you.  See you in the morning.”

And you know what? My dad is the most magnificent in the whole world. And that’s the truth.

Here’s a picture of my Dad, taken for his high school graduation.  He looks so young.  He passed away several years ago, but I still miss him.  He was a magnificent Dad!  I am sure we were a trial for him.  I remember when we were little, he would come home from his office, take off his tie, and spend some time wrestling with us.  It was the best time of the day for us.  I expect his was tired, but it never showed.  I remember him raking up all the leaves in the yard and not getting angry when my sister and I jumped in the piles.

Our parents both had their skills, but for adventures you wanted Dad.  He was the parent, who chaperoned our field trips.  I remember him driving us around to go caroling.  He was the one who took us fishing.

One of the strongest memories I have of him is on the day of my wedding. He was tall (at least taller than me), handsome, and strong.  When I think of him now, it is the way I see him.  He taught me so many lessons without words.  How to be kind, how to be persistent, and how to be caring.  He was a wonderful Dad!

Happy, happy, happy day to all fathers everywhere.

Reading Report for Northern, Central Texas: May 2017

May was beautiful. Look at what has been blooming this month.  May always seems like a busy month. The reading list is short.  I haven’t been able to keep up with our household reading this month!

Sarah

May is always a busy month for teachers.  Sarah still managed to finish a book and start a new one.

  • Harkness, Deborah.  A Discovery of Witches.  New York: Penguin, 2011.
  • Harkness, Deborah. Shadow of Night. New York: Penguin, 2013.

Alexis

I wasn’t quick enough to grab all of Alexis’ books before she returned them to the library.  Here’s her short list for the month.

  • Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (or Not) Getting by in America. New York: Orbit Books, 2002.
  • Knight, Jim. Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2015.
  • Ryan, Anthony. The Walking Fire. New York: Orbit Books, 2016.

 Jim

  • Krauss, Lawrence M. The Greatest Story Ever Told So Far: Why Are We Here? New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017.
  • Baxter, Stephen. Ultima. New York: Ace Books, 2016.

Robin

  • Chesterton, G.K. The Complete Father Brown Stories. Herefordshire, England: Wordsworth Classics, 1972.
  • Hearne, Kevin. Hounded. New York: Del Ray, 2011.
  • Juster, Norton. Illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The Phantom Tollbooth. New York: Scholastic, 1961.
  • Riordin, Rick. The Dark Prophecy. New York: Hyperion Books, 2017.