Andy Griffiths Books
Who is Andy Griffiths?
Andy Griffiths is a children's author of humorous books, from Melbourne, Australia. He should not be confused with actor Andy Griffith from 60's TV show 'The Andy Griffith Show'.
He had his first book 'Just Tricking! published in 1997 and has gone on to write a further 26 published books to date. He regularly works with illustrator Terry Denton on a number of series of books, including the Treehouse books, the Just! books, the Bum series and the Schooling Around series. His books are very popular with children from 6 upwards.
He is a funny man and an excellent public speaker, working with educational organisations to encourage children to write. I was fortunate enough to hear him speak at a young leaders conference in 2014 and he took a simple scenario such as taking a shower and developed it into an excellent story ide just by looking at things from a different angle. His silly and sometimes slightly rude style is not for everyone, but if you are struggling to engage a young child in reading these books are worth a go.
The Treehouse Books
Did you ever build a treehouse when you were younger? Well I guarantee it was not as good as the crazy treehouse built by writer Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton in this series of books!
There are four books in this series so far, with each book expanding on the previous treehouse. It begins with a thirteen storey treehouse and each book adds a further 13 stories. Each story is filled with a variety of crazy inventions, ideas, toys and games as well as having all the normal rooms you'd find in a bedroom. For example, the original contains a man-eating shark tank, lemonade fountain, giant catapult, bowling alley, a room full of pillows and a marshmallow machine that follows you round and fires marshmallows at you when you are hungry.
All the stories are connected by a complex series of ladders, vines and slides. They form a treehouse most kids would love. The story itself is pretty silly, but that is part of the appeal for young readers, and it is complemented fantastically by some great illustrations from Terry Denton. In the story, the pair are busy trying to write a new story for their editor and as they are doing this lots of crazy things happen, such as the treehouse being invaded by monkeys, a visit from a mermaid and much more.
These are great books for young confident readers to enjoy, and are very popular in my school with children in year 3 and 4 particularly. Short chapters and fun stories make them perfect for reluctant readers too.
The treehouse reached 52 stories last year and I would be surprised to see more stories added in the future to this popular series.
The 'Schooling Around' Series
This is a set of books set in Northwest Southeast Central School, charting the crazy goings on at the school. The books are ideal for emerging readers and as a teacher can recommend them as books to read to a class that will keep them engaged in the story. There is Griffiths' usual silly humour shining through the stories, but the plots are imaginative and engaging and encourage children to think creatively for themselves about where the plot might twist next.
They are all great books that are also illustrated by Terry Denton. My personal favourite is "The Pencil of Doom' which revolves around a magical pencil which causes anything drawn with it to come true. But as the title suggests, it has a strange way of making even the nicest of wishes turn out badly, such as when Jenny draws herself with the kitten she always wanted, but she gets a little more than she bargained for. The pencil is also almost indestructible and there attempts to destroy it inevitably end in disaster. Things go from bad to worse when the school bully finds out the pencil's secret and gets his hands on it.
I particularly enjoyed this book as its short chapters made it ideal for reading to the whole class. The story was entertaining too. I particularly enjoyed the lessons from Mr Brainfright. I will definitely read these books to future classes.
Knowing how to cut someone in half is a very important life skill - though perhaps not as important as knowing how to put them back together.— Mr Brainfright's Important Lesson No. 2 from 'The Pencil of Doom
Andy Griffiths Talks About Writing
The 'Just' Series
These books are all made up of short stories written in a variety of ways about other Andy behaving in the way described by the title. 'Just Tricking' contains ten stories about Andy who thinks he is the world's best practical joker, playing tricks which inevitably backfire. Again these books are filled with his trade mark silly humour, but are extremely enjoyable reads for young emerging readers.
Other titles in the series include: - Just Annoying, Just Stupid, Just Crazy, Just Shocking, Just Disgusting, Just Macbeth and Just Doomed. The 'Just Macbeth 'title is slightly different to the rest of the series as it was commissioned to help engage young readers in Shakespeare and is a modified version of the play combining Shakespeare's characters and characters from the other titles in the 'Just' series.
Andy Griffiths And His Gross Sense Of Humour
As I mentioned above, Andy's style is not to everyone's taste, but he certainly seems to know how to engage young boys in particular. He has a number of other titles including 'The Bum Series 'which revolve around this toilet style humour. I am not going to go into detail about all of these books, but I will mention a couple of titles. His 'What Bumosaur Is That?', despite being incredibly silly and childish did make me laugh a lot and cheered me up one particularly challenging day in class.
This book has lots of made up creatures who have names and characteristics that revolve around bum, poos and toilets. My two particular favourites were the 'itchybumosaurus' and the 'Tyrannosore-arse Rex''. Each animal is accompanied by a funny description and as usual a fantastic illustration.
'The big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow' is another book worth a mention. It is intentionally aimed at reluctant and emergent readers, filled with rhyme and craziness in a similar style to the 'Just' books.
Have you ever read an Andy Griffiths book?
The complete Library of Andy Griffiths books available to date.
The Just Series:-
- Just Tricking!
- Just Annoying!
- Just Stupid!
- Just Crazy!
- Just Disgusting!
- Just Shocking!
- Just Macbeth
- Just Doomed
Schooling Around Series
- Treasure Fever!
- Pencil Of Doom!
- Mascot Madness
- Robot Riot!
- The 13-Storey Treehouse
- The 26-Storey Treehouse
- The 39-Storey Treehouse
- The 52-Storey Treehouse
- The Bad Book
- The Very Bad Book
- The Super Bad book
The Bum Series
- The Day My Bub Goes Psycho
- Zombie Bums From Uranus
- Bummageddon: The Final Project
A & T's World Of Stupidity Series
- What Bumosaur Is That?
- What Body Part is That?
- Killer Koalas From Outer Space
- Stinky Stories, illustrated by Jeff Raglus
- Fast Food and No Play Make Jack a Fat Boy
- The Cat, the Rat, and the Baseball Bat
- Once Upon a Slime
- The Naked Boy and the Crocodile
Ed and Ted and Ted’s Dog Fred
The Official Andy Griffiths Webpage
- Home - Andy Griffiths
Andy Griffiths: Author of the Treehouse series, the Just! Books and the Bad Books