Spend the Day Laughing!
THE JOKE MACHINE
Follow a cast of fictional characters into a joke-making lab, where you'll learn to create your own jokes. Each chapter explores the ins and outs of humor and explains how to use techniques such as surprise, exaggeration, contrast, comparison, and more to punch up an ordinary sentence into something funnier!
By the end of the book, you'll have
a set of tools in your joke belt that
will keep your friends and
family laughing. So if you want
to be funnier - or just want
to laugh the afternoon away -
check out The Joke Machine!
DISCLAIMER: Reading this book may cause intense laughter.
The author is not responsible for uncontrollable giggling, guffawing,
hipping, hooting and hollering that may lead to sides splitting
and bellies jiggling.
Calling Dibs, Jinx, Shotgun,
and Other Things No One Knows the Rules To
Who gets dibs on the last slice of pizza?
Who's "it" when two people call "not it" at the same time?
Stop wondering and start learning the rules to these and other *must know* things in life like:
Rock Paper Scissors
Crossing Your Fingers
The Floor is Lava
Then test your knowledge with our hilarious try-not-to-laugh game challenges which are perfect for the whole family! This very funny book is great for road trips, family time away from screens, and fun kid and teen parties. It encourages creativity and helps kids learn through play by using their imagination and helping them learn how to defend their opinion. No matter how you use this book, it's hours of ready-to-go fun!
Some of the things you'll learn:
Ah, the seat of power! Being the first to call shotgun and scoring the car’s front passenger seat ensures you have the best view, direct access to the driver, and possibly control over the music—all very solid perks. Read this book to learn the OFFICIAL rules to calling shotgun so you can score every ride. Then, settle into the front, and start planning your dominion over the peons jammed into the back.
Picture this: you get to a concert early but can’t nab great seats because some guy is trying to save the entire front row. He doesn’t have enough jackets to drape across all the seats, so he’s lying across four seats and trying to save the rest with socks, shoes, a dirty tissue, and a banana peel. Can he do that? How many seats can one person save? Learn the rules so your next open seating event doesn’t turn into The Hunger Games.
Have you ever held up your hand for a high five and instead of a firm slap gotten back a light tap? A missed five? A slipped five? A four? A pat on the head? Or, you hold your fist up for a bump and someone leaves you hanging? Unacceptable. High fives and fist bumps are important ways of saying “hey,” and “great job,” so it’s important to learn the rules and execute them properly.
“Frontsies” may sound silly, but letting someone get in line before you is quite serious. Say you’re at a buffet, absolutely starving, and there’s only one shrimp and two chicken wings left. Your friend saunters up and asks for frontsies. She’s a fellow shrimp/chicken wing lover, and you’re so hungry you’re ready to chew your feet off. Do you give her frontsies? Big question, right? Learn the rules and figure out if you should.
Odds and Evens
Did you know there’s a one in 1,000,000 chance you’ll get hit by a meteorite? A one in 5,000,000 chance you’ll die in a tornado? A one in 14,000,000,000,000 chance you’d even be born? If you’re reading this, you were obviously born and, therefore are pretty lucky! To keep your lucky streak going, learn the rules of odds & evens because your chance of winning this simple hand game is a whopping 50 percent!
The Invisible Line
Your sister’s smelly socks are on your side of the room. Your brother’s gross backpack is creeping into your space. Boy, does this stuff melt your butter! You push aside whatever’s creeping into your space, draw an invisible line in the air with your finger, and shout “Don’t cross that line!” Read the rules to the all-powerful invisible line so you can keep those smelly socks far from you and finally have a stink-free night.
101 Hilarious Pranks and Practical Jokes!
Learn the fine art of pranking and practical joking and become a pro at pretending your finger broke off, filling your friend’s doughnut with sour cream, making an exploding cake, and more! Each chapter in this ultimate prank book includes hilarious tricks to master and essential skills for creating your own family-friendly pranks and physical comedy stunts, such as:
smooth body moves
gross outs and more!
By the end of the book, you’ll have a set of tools in your prank belt to pull hundreds of practical jokes on friends and family. The book includes 101 pranks plus zillions that you can create on your own!
So prank on! Have fun! Break a leg!
Technically, this book doesn't teach you how to break a leg, but it does explain how to crack your nose, bite off your finger, detach your head, spit out your teeth, push a pencil through your head, rip your eyeball out, slip in poop, and control gravity. You’re welcome.
Theresa Julian writes humorous children’s fiction, nonfiction, screenplays and teleplays. She loves words and her favorite thing to do is put them together in ways that make people laugh. When she's not writing, Theresa likes to run, eat chocolate, and lip sync to her favorite songs even though she never knows the lyrics. Theresa always wished she had a superpower, but makes a really mean eggplant parmigiana so…
maybe that counts?
Theresa’s books have been featured in
full-page article in Highlights for Children’s
upcoming issue on humor.
In addition to books, Theresa has sold
dozens of humorous stories to Amazon Rapids
which were consistently listed on the Popular and Funny rows on the Amazon app. Theresa is also the author of a humorous tween TV pilot and two screenplays that have all won or placed
in multiple national writing competitions.
Theresa is a magna cum laude graduate of
Boston College and has a Master of Arts in Corporate Communication from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The Joke Machine:
A Creative Writing Tool Disguised as a Joke Book
So, two guys walk into a bar…
Wait, that’s not how I meant to start. I meant to start by telling you that The Joke Machine is a new non-fiction book that teaches middle graders how to create their own jokes and become funnier. I’m nervous because my spellcheck mysteriously switched into Hungarian and I can’t tell if words are misspelled.
Spelling words wrong is something I do knot want to do. I know the importance of proper spelling, it’s something my feather taught me. If I mix up even two letters, this whole post is urined.
Now you’re probably wondering, is she kidding about the spellchecker? The urined post? And most importantly, what happened to the guys who walked into a bar? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and two guys walked into a bar – the third one ducked.
Apologies for a long introduction, I just wanted to make you laugh. Making someone laugh is one of the best feelings in the world. Humor is vital in life, because it helps people connect, build rapport and trust, and it reduces stress and social differences. It’s hard to be mad at someone you’re laughing with.
The premise of The Joke Machine is unique – that being funny is a skill you can learn, practice and polish – there’s no “funny gene” you need to be born with.
Each chapter explores a different style of joke making, such as how to use surprise, contrast, comparison, exaggeration and more to create funny lines. Each chapter includes a “Your Turn” section that offers exercises, tips, and formulas for children to create their own funny lines, and lots of sample jokes. By the end of the book, readers have a set of tools in their joke belt to make their friends and family actually LOL.
The true magic of The Joke Machine is that it teaches a difficult, almost mysterious subject using basic tenets of English, in a fun, funny, kid-friendly way, that keeps readers laughing and turning the pages.
Now I’m going to tell you a secret. Lean in, because I’m going to whisper this so kids don’t hear. Though The Joke Machine explains how kids can become funnier, it’s also a book that teaches them how to express themselves more creatively and how to become better, more confident writers.
The Joke Machine teaches basics, such as using similes, metaphors, homonyms, homophones, etc., to punch up sentences, but the real message is deeper. The real message is reaching past the plain “vanilla” and expressing yourself more creatively, confidently, and humorously.
For example, The Joke Machine teaches middle graders to create humor by comparing two things that don’t ordinarily go together, by using irony to call out an unusual situation, and by using literalness to respond to someone’s actual words instead of their meaning.
The book explains how to fancy-schmancy it up by using specific details, too. It shows how to change “my shoes smell bad” into “my shoes that smell like they’ve been in my gym locker since second grade”. The book encourages kids to play with words, punch up puns, twist common
catchphrases, exaggerate and understate facts, and even invent words that their friends will understand just by their sound.
Finally, The Joke Machine teaches middle graders to be more confident writers because being funny is about teasing out your message, having the courage to say something and then pull it back. It’s presenting a thought, then twisting, bending and reversing it. It’s like starting with “two guys walk into a bar” and then admitting that’s not what you want to talk about – but now that I have your attention, stick with me. It’s about thinking outside of the box, playing with a message, and holding your reader’s attention, all the way down to the very last line.
Buy the Books!
© 2022 by Theresa Julian