Stumble Bees & Pelephones: How to Develop a Powerful Verbal Sense of Humor (children’s edition)

Stumble Bees & Pelephones by Paul McGheeby Paul McGhee
Published by Kendall/Hunt (but available only through this website).

Sold shrink-wrapped together with
Understanding & Promoting the Development of
Children’s Humor
@ $16.00 for the pair.

Note: This children’s humor package is only shipped through PayPal within the US. For international or bulk orders, contact The Laughter Remedy at

This is the only children’s riddle/joke book that builds the child’s skill at playing with language. It is to be read by children between seven (six, if the child is generally more intellectually advanced) and 12 or 13 years of age.  It builds children’s verbal humor skills at the point at which they are excited by riddles and love sharing them with parents and other kids.  The skill development concept is identical to that for Small Medium at Large, which is geared toward teenagers and adults. 

Riddles and other children’s jokes are provided with a key part of the punch line missing.  Three clues are provided to get the child thinking more and more in the right direction without giving the answer.  This enables the child to have the experience of getting the key insight that makes it funny on his/her own. By the time s/he has done this several hundred times, a general skill at creating one’s own riddles and jokes gradually emerges.  Guidelines are offered for making a game out guessing riddle answers by providing a different amount of points, depending on how many clues are needed to correctly come up with the punch line.  Riddles are provided in sets of 20, allowing for many different games to be played.  This works very well as a tool to keep kids occupied on long driving trips—while boosting their humor skills at the same time.

Note to non-native speakers of English: Humor is the last thing mastered in a second language (I learned that the hard way while living in Paris for three years).  For non-native English speakers who do speak English reasonably well, but still have difficulty either understanding or creating jokes in English, THIS BOOK HAS CONSISTENTLY PROVEN TO BE HELPFUL IN BUILDING BASIC SKILLS AT PLAYING WITH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.  While the humor is at a child’s level, your still-limited mastery of English interferes with your ability to quickly get the point of the joke (e.g., the unexpected double meaning).  So you need to start by building your skill at understanding simple double meanings and other lower levels of humor.  One you get better at this, you’ll find it easier to move on to the kinds of humor represented in Small Medium at Large.

Why is this important for you (i.e., non-native English speakers)?  ENGLISH HAS BECOME THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE FOR BUSINESS IN THE GLOBAL MARKET PLACE.  Business men and women from many countries have often told me how difficult is to adopt a lighter style of talking to clients, since they just don’t get American or British humor.  Building this basic joking skill will help eliminate this problem.

Note to elementary school teachers: TEACHERS OF GRADES 2-5 OR 6 HAVE ALSO SUCCESSFULLY USED THIS BOOK DURING HOMEROOM TIME TO BUILD HUMOR SKILLS–AND CREATIVE THINKING SKILLS IN GENERAL. It is an entertaining and mentally challenging way to fill a five-minute time slot.  Also, remember that humor is increasingly being viewed as a tool for promoting literacy in children.


1. Easier Riddles and Jokes

2. Difficult Riddles and Jokes

3. Very Difficult Riddles and Jokes

Answers to Riddles and Jokes