With Christmas approaching, the pressure is on to find the perfect present for family and friends. If you want to purchase a funny little book for someone, but don't want to spend a fortune, then the following options might be just the thing for you…
Darth Vader And Son and Vader's Little Princess- Jeffrey Brown
Fans of the Star Wars franchise will love these illustrated pages which feature the infamous Darth Vader as he deals with his children, Luke and Leia. While not exactly true to the films, the books are extremely entertaining- Vader shows how he copes with toddler tantrums and disinterested teens, and proves that while he might have a tough exterior, and be one of the most feared people in the galaxy, he is really just a big softie at heart. Illustrator Jeffrey Brown is a self-confessed Star Wars geek, and first released Darth Vader and Son as a humorous tribute to his favourite science fiction franchise. Following the popularity of his book, he decided to release Vader's Little Princess a year later, and it has proved just as popular with fans of the series. We can only wonder who he will decide to illustrate next…
Dancing With Jesus and Almighty Sports With Jesus- Sam Stall
Have you ever wanted to learn the Temptation Tango, the Lazarus Lurch or the John The Baptist Bop? Have you ever even heard of these religiously-themed dance moves? Unless you are familiar with Sam Stall's work, my guess is no, which is why you should grab his holographic-style covered board books and take a look. Dancing with Jesus has a cover which features, unsurprisingly, a dancing Jesus. With instructions on how to perfect each dance move, and an illustration of a biblical character doing said moves, this little gift book can be categorised as one of the more unusual to be released in time for the silly season. Likewise is Stall's other book, Almighty Sports With Jesus, which takes a look at some ordinary sports such as surfing, basketball, baseball and golf, and adds a biblical and 'almighty' kick to them. This book also has instructions on how to perfect each winning move, to make you the best sportsperson ever, and is a fine accompaniment to Dancing With Jesus. These books are probably best for those who don't mind a bit of humour mixed in with their religious faith- I wouldn't recommend giving them to a strictly religious person, anyway, lest you be damned to eternal hell…
My Dog: The Paradox- The Oatmeal (aka Matthew Inman)
This is (internet sensation) The Oatmeal's tribute to all the dogs he has ever owned or lived with, in particular Rambo, the fluffy canine who inspired this entertaining little gift book. In it, The Oatmeal illustrates the paradoxes of man's best friend, highlighting everything in very accurate detail. He ponders on how a seemingly fearless creature (when faced with something twice its size) can be so afraid of a harmless hairdryer, and how an animal so dedicated to licking and cleaning its privates can have no qualms about rolling around in unknown substances, getting dirty and smelly in the process. This little book is an ode to a beloved pet, and I'm sure that all fellow dog-owners will recognise the sentiments that are expressed.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You- The Oatmeal (aka Matthew Inman)
Some people absolutely love cats and everything about them. Some people absolutely cannot stand them and go out of their way to avoid them. This book caters for both feline lovers and haters- it is all about cats, so that will keep half the population happy, and the haters will appreciate the title and subject matter throughout the book (which will further cement their reasons for disliking the creatures). In this creation by The Oatmeal, cats and their behaviours are explored in all their extremities, from how kittens are plotting to take over the world, to ways of telling if your cat thinks it's a mountain lion. Those aren't the only feline-related issues focussed on- cat homosexuality has a look in, and comparisons are made on the pros and cons of having a baby versus having a cat. The Oatmeal has also included his popular Bobcats cartoon strips in the book, about two cynical talking cats who work in an otherwise human-populated office and get into all kinds of trouble. This book contains a somewhat accurate but always entertaining portrayal of life with a feline friend, and is the perfect adjudicator in your quest to discover just how deep your tolerance of cats really runs.
Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants- The Oatmeal (aka Matthew Inman)
Unlike The Oatmeal's other two books, which focus on specific topics (ie. dogs or cats), this book covers a broader range of ideas and questions. Besides the title statement, and his reasoning for why grizzly bears should don some tighty whiteys, he also explores the intricacies of such things as packing for a trip, your first car, airplane travel, locker room experiences, buying apps and hamster atonement. This book is a lot more 'out there' in terms of language use, and you would be wise to steer clear if swearing or offensive language are not your cup of tea, as this book is littered with it! But that doesn't detract from the humorous offerings and absurd musings that The Oatmeal explores. His illustrations are amusing and perfectly portray the comedic ideas he is trying to get across. Maybe hide this one from younger kids, but definitely make sure you take a look at it.