London, May 30 : Books that tickle the funny bone are what catches the attention of today's kids, rather than fairytales and traditional children's bedtime classics, reveals a new poll.
Classic authors like Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton and the Brothers Grimm have now been replaced by Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss and modern writers such as Steve Cole.
While a steep change in reading habits has been observed in the recent times, the poll by the National Year of Reading discovered that almost 49 percent of parents read their children every day and one in 10 skipped through pages to reach the end faster.
This poll of 207 parents with children under 16 also indicated that currently the most common before-bedtime habit for children was to watch television, and that too after a recent discovery suggested that reading bedtime stories to children made them read faster.
Parents who were interviewed were also asked to remember if they read to their children when they were under 10.
From what the results suggested, it was the funny stories that topped the popularity list with 28 per cent of parents claiming them to be their children's favourites. On the other hand, only 12 per cent children preferred fairytales. Those who liked fables, such as Aesop's The Tortoise and the Hare, made up just one percent of those who took the poll.
The books at the top three positions were: 'The Gruffalo' by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer, 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle and 'The BFG' by Roald Dahl. They scored above 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' by Beatrix Potter, 'The Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame and 'Anne of Green Gables' by LM Montgomery.
In fact, the popularity of funny books, like 'Cows in Action: The Ter-Moo-Nators' by Steve Cole, has even made parents to narrate the stories in different voices to make it interesting to their children. And the voice that was most popular for a villain was Cockney while in case of the hero, the narrators preferred Queen's English.
"I remember when I was young I loved funny books told in funny ways by funny people - Spike Milligan and Michael Palin were particular favourites," The Telegraph quoted the comedian Jon Culshaw, as saying.
"So, if parents are entering into the spirit and bringing storybooks alive through funny voices, then that is good news for children. A bit of fun adds fuel to the imagination and also sprinkles that sense of mischief that children like so much. If all parents did that then what a jolly world it would be," he added.