________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 8. . . .October 21, 2011


101 Creepy Canadian Jokes.

Stella Partheniou. Illustrated by Bill Dickson.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2011.
94 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0771-6.

Subject Headings:
Supernatural-Juvenile literature.
Monsters-Juvenile humor.
Canadian wit and humor (English)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

** /4



Why are there no vampires in Manitoba?

They can’t compete with the mosquitoes.

The 101 jokes in 101 Creepy Canadian Jokes are thematically distributed among nine sections. “FROM SEA TO CREEPY SEA”, the book’s opening, and most “Canadian” section of this joke book, has 15 riddles, with the punch line, in most cases, depending on a play on words. For example: Why did the Grim Reaper visit Sudbury?
To see the big sickle.

      Obviously, to enjoy such a “Canadian” joke, the reader must bring some prior knowledge about Sudbury to the punch line. "Trick or Treat!” offers eight knock-knock jokes that revolve around Halloween. Trick or treat!” Who’s there? Owl. Owl who? Owl stop knocking if you stop hooting.

      In “Bone Appétit!” a baker’s dozen riddles focus on scary “creatures,” such as ghosts, zombies and monsters, and their eating habits. Why was the ogress having nightmares? It might have been someone she ate.

      Another half dozen riddles in “Bone Chillers” place the scary creatures in a winter environment. What do you get when you cross a vampire with a snowman? Frost bite!

      Sixteen additional riddles in “Creepy Canada” return the creepy critters to a Canadian geographic setting or situation. How did the werewolf become Prime Minister? He clawed his way to the top.

      The 13 riddles in “PARTS AND RE-CREATION” finds the book’s scary creatures being spectators at or participants in sports. Who is the most important player on the ghosts’ hockey team? The ghoulie.

      “TOO GHOUL FOR SCHOOL” has 11 riddles that are ostensibly school related, but a few, such as the one that follows, seem quite removed from a school setting. What did the zombie give his sweetheart? A bouquet of noses.

      For a change of pace, “DR. FRANKENSTEIN, DR. FRANKENSTEIN!” has seven doctor/patient jokes. Patient: Doctor, I think I’m a zombie. Dr. Frankenstein: Well this is a no-brainer.

      The book’s final dozen jokes, grouped under the title “Laugh Your Head Off”, are once again riddles. Who helped Bigfoot get to the ball? Her hairy godmother.

      As can be seen from the various examples above, despite the book’s title, not all of the jokes are truly creepy nor are they all Canadian in their content. Bill Dickson’s cartoon-like illustrations, while mostly decorative, also frequently provide a visual context to help young readers “get” the joke. With just one or two jokes per page, 101 Creepy Canadian Jokes is a very quick read, and, while the book is not an essential purchase, humour, especially in a short form, is always one sure way to entice the reluctant reader.


Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, resides in vampire-free, but mosquito-infested Winnipeg, MB.

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

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