Created by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, the Funnybones books were first released in 1980 and followed the adventures of a gang of skeletons – the big skeleton, his brother the little skeleton, and their pets, Dog and Cat.
The skeletons lived in a dark, dark cellar down the dark, dark staircase of a dark, dark house on a dark, dark hill. Because the books were aimed at young readers, the storylines were simple – the skeletons kept bumping into each other during the night and falling to pieces, for example, so they called upon Dr Bones to patch them up – and there was a great deal of word repetition so the white, white dog would disappear in white, white snow while the gang took trips to places like the dark, dark sea during dark, dark thunderstorms.
The books proved so popular that Funnybones went on to become a short-lived animated TV series in 1992, cementing its place in children’s hearts. The 12-part series brought the books to life with Welsh comedian Griff Rhys Jones providing the voices.
The series of books is still being published today and since there were no cultural references, the tales of the fun-loving skeletons haven’t aged a day.