In all of his books of his that I've read, Philip Pullman imbues a smart type of wit that is still acceptable for children, but makes his books all the more interesting for more advanced readers. For example, in this book, there is a scene depicting the princess and Jacques falling in love. To illustrate the problem of it, both of them are standing on opposite edges of the page, looking away from each other, wondering (with cartoon bubbles) when "the question" is going to pop up. (I don't want to say specifically what they said, because it wouldn't sound the same here.) I burst out laughing at this scene, first because it is so comic, but also because it strikes a chord in real life as well.
All the characters are funny, in their own type of way, without being overdone. Puss is confident, Jacques shy, the princess lovestruck, the ogre evil (and unedjucated!). These characters really make the story happen, probably as they were supposed to in the first place!
Even if you don't like fairy-tales, give this book a chance!