Knock knock!

It is sometimes easy to forget that a wealth of literature is full of comedy. Did you know, for example, that one of the earliest recordings of a 'knock knock' joke is in Shakespeare's Macbeth?

And you really don't have to look far to select a novel to make you laugh. Still not convinced? Here are a few suggestions.

"To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness." Many of Oscar Wilde's novels are humorous, but for a hearty chortle, look no further than The Importance of Being Earnest. Featuring in the further reading section of the Kumon Recommended Reading List, this classic play centres around two English gentlemen who tell a few tall tales and get themselves into some hot water. There are many reasons why this play is a regular in the theatre to this day.

"I don't know why it should be, I am sure; but the sight of another man asleep in bed when I am up, maddens me." Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat tells the story of a boating holiday on the Thames. The three friends take the excursion to cure their many (self-diagnosed) ailments, and hilarity ensues as their journey goes on.

"My skin is dead good. I think it must be a combination of being in love and Lucozade." Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 � follows the diary of an adolescent as he navigates his way through his teens. The first of three books, shows us Adrian's desires and ambitions, and his ultimate failure to realise them.

If time is of the essence, why not dip into Brian Patten's Gargling with Jelly. A collection of funny, outrageous and the odd serious poems, this collection features naughty children, cartoon characters coming to life, and fantastical creatures. Great for a quick giggle.

"I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me." Roald Dahl's Matilda is a fantastically comical book, featuring its namesake Matilda, an extraordinary child (with a wonderful love of reading) who is joined by a host of eccentric characters, including the terrifying Trunchbull!

Kumon English students study types of plot, irony and comedy in level K of the programme, whilst developing their critique skills. Within this topic block they will explore extracts from classic comedies including A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.

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