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Monthy Python star up for funniest kids’ book award

Monty Python star Terry Jones has been shortlisted for a top children's book prize.

The funnyman, writer and broadcaster is up for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize which is awarded to the most rib-tickling reads for young people.

Jones, 69, is nominated for his book Animal Tales - a collection of whimsical animal fables - which is battling it out with a book about a smelly troll and an alien schoolboy.

Judges for the prize include author and TV presenter Danny Wallace, and Horrid Henry creator Francesca Simon.

Jones's book competes against five other titles in the seven to 14-year-old category. The six and under prize will be fought between books which include swashbuckling cats, a show-off peacock and a chicken attending a school for cows.

The prize - organised by reading charity Booktrust - is named in honour of late children's author Dahl, who would have celebrated his 95th birthday tomorrow.

Wallace said: "Some books are funny. Some books are funny-funny. These books are proper funny.

"They don't talk down, they don't go for the easy laughs, but instead they create worlds and characters that enthral, inspire, and keep your funny bone properly, professionally tickled."

Around 400 school children will also help to choose this year's winners, who will be announced on November 8.

The 2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlists are:

The funniest book for children aged six and under:

- Bedtime For Monsters by Ed Vere (Puffin)

- Cats Ahoy! by Peter Bently, illustrated by Jim Field (Macmillan Children's Books)

- First Week At Cow School by Andy Cutbill, illustrated by Russell Ayto (HarperCollins Children's Books)

- Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson (Orchard)

- Marshall Armstrong Is New To Our School by David Mackintosh (HarperCollins Children's Books)

- A Place To Call Home by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz (Walker)

The funniest book for children aged seven to 14:

- Animal Tales by Terry Jones, illustrated by Michael Foreman (Pavilion Children's Books)

- The Brilliant World Of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon (Scholastic)

- The Get Rich Quick Club by Rose Impey (Orchard)

- Letters From An Alien Schoolboy by Ros Asquith (Piccadilly Press)

- Penny Dreadful Is A Magnet For Disaster by Joanna Nadin, illustrated by Jess Mikhail (Usborne)

- The Wrong Pong by Steven Butler, illustrated by Chris Fisher (Puffin)

PA Media