________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 38. . . .June 9, 2017


Jokes for Canadian Kids.

David MacLennan.
Edmonton, AB: Folklore, 2010.
231 pp., trade pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-926677-45-3.

Subject Headings:
Canadian wit and humor (English).
Riddles, Juvenile.
Canada-Humor-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-8 / Ages 8-13.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

***½ /4


Christmas Jokes for Kids.

David MacLennan. Illustrated by Peter Tyler and Roger Garcia.
Edmonton, AB: Folklore, 2013.
240 pp., trade pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-926677-91-0.

Subject Headings:
Wit and humor, Juvenile.
Christmas-Humor-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-8 / Ages 8-13.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

***½ /4



A man walks into the doctor’s office with a zucchini in his left ear, a carrot in his right ear and a cucumber up his nose.

“What’s wrong with me, doc?” asks the man.

It’s a simple diagnosis,” replies the doctor. “You’re not eating properly” (From the chapter “Grownups Are Weird” in Jokes for Canadian Kids.)

Winter driving

Young Anne has just learned to drive and leaves work early on Christmas Eve because of the awful winter roads. It is the worst blizzard Winnipeg has seen in decades. She has a hard time finding her car as she walks to the parking lot. She finally finds it, and, as the car is warming up, she wonders whether she will make it home in time to celebrate Christmas with her family. Anne suddenly smiles to herself as she recalls her dad’s advice. “If caught in a blizzard,” he always told her, “follow the snowplow.”

As luck would have it, a snowplow drives by at that very instant, and Anne begins to follow it.

An hour later, the snowplow parks, and the driver gets out to talk to Anne. He tells her that he has noticed she is following him for several miles. Anne smiles at the driver and tells him about her father’s advice of how to drive in a blizzard.

The driver smiles back at Anne and tells her she can follow him as long as she likes, but that he has now finished the Walmart parking lot and he is moving on to the Home Depot next. (From the chapter “Parents and Other Adults at Christmas” in Christmas Jokes for Kids.)


Given the reported health benefits of laughter, reading Jokes for Canadian Kids and Christmas Jokes for Kids should perhaps be considered to be part of the wellness program for children under your care. On the other hand, your own emotional state might be challenged by the repeated requests to respond to another knock-knock joke, to try to answer yet another riddle or to listen to just one more one-liner from one of your students, young patrons or even your own child. Both books are divided into 14 thematic chapters, such as “What Did You Just Say?”, “Parents Don’t Get It” and “Sports Jokes” in Jokes for Canadian Kids and “Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Reindeer”, “Christmas Presents” and “Parents and Other Adults at Christmas” in Christmas Jokes for Kids (which interestingly has a chapter labelled “Hanukkah Humour”), with the content of the humour in each chapter being connected to the theme.

     Each of the books will appeal to a broad age audience as the jokes range widely in their level of sophistication and, sometimes, their expectation of prior knowledge. For example, younger readers might not get:

The Nasville Predators have apparently set up a call centre for fans who are troubled by their current form. The number is 1-800-10-10-10. Calls are charged at a peak rate for overseas users. Once again, that number is 1-800-won-nothing-won-nothing-won-nothing. [As an aside, given the Preds 2017 Cup playoff run, perhaps the Colorado Avalanche’s name should be substituted in a current telling.]

     However, there’s lots of humour for even the youngest end of the intended audience, with riddles such as:

Q: What do elves learn in school?
A: The elf-abet..

     or Knock-Knock jokes like:

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Hannah who?
Hanna partridge in a pear tree!

     and groaners, including:

A leopard keeps trying to escape from the zoo, but he is never successful. He is always spotted.

     Not meant to be read cover-to-cover, Jokes for Canadian Kids and Christmas Jokes for Kids invite browsing and revisiting as the short and long humour pieces are intermingled.

     Must-buys for home collections and enticing fare for reluctant readers.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives and laughs in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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