Announcing the 2021 Short List for the Joan Betty Stuchner Award

April 1, 2021 (This is not a joke!)

The Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children’s Book Award committee has a very serious announcement to make: our jury has finally stopped laughing long enough to tell us which books they have chosen for our shortlist!  Many funny books were entered for consideration, but these are the ones that had our jury the most buckled over with guffaws, incapacitated with giggles, and/or rib-ticklingly, side-splittingly, thigh-slappingly entertained.

The shortlisted books in the picture or board book category are:

Farm Crimes: Cracking the Case of the Missing Egg – written and illustrated by Sandra Dumais (Owlkids)

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps – written by Nicola Winstanley, illustrated by John Martz (Penguin Random House)

Aaalligator! – written by Judith Henderson, illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier (Kids Can Press)

Princess Puffybottom and Darryl – written by Susin Nielsen, illustrated by Olivia Mueller Chin (Penguin Random House)

Not Me – written and illustrated by Elise Gravel (Scholastic)

The shortlisted books in the chapter book category are:

The Unteachables – written by Gordon Korman (Scholastic)

Kiddo – written and illustrated by Cynthia Nugent (Tradewind Books)

Sophie Trophy – written by Eileen Holland, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan (Crwth Press)

Mya’s Strategy to Save the World – written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (Penguin Random House)

Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life – written by Beverley Brenna, illustrated by Tara Anderson (Pajama Press)


Congratulations to all who are short-listed and thanks to our wonderful judges for doing the difficult work of deciding between so many funny books:

Sharon Freeman

Alan Woo

Ellen Schwartz

Winners will be announced at our Zoom extravaganza on Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (May 15, 2021) at 11am PST. If you would like to join us, please email to reserve your spot.


Joan Betty Stuchner was a children’s author who loved to make people laugh. She passed away unexpectedly in 2014. The Joan Betty Stuchner – Oy Vey! – Funniest Children’s Book Award honours her warm and generous spirit by encouraging authors and illustrators to keep her life-affirming humour alive.

For more information, visit

Award Committee:

Ellen Schwartz

Lesley Johnson

Kathie Shoemaker

Sheri Radford

Cindy Heinrichs