Each week during my volunteer time at the school library, students swarm around asking for help finding just the right book. “Do you have books about squids?” “Where are the books with Ninja Turtles?” “Where can I find the Titanic books?” (These are all actual requests by first graders.)
The Loch Ness monster, mermaids, and how to care for your pet hedgehog I can handle. But the most difficult request by far comes up every single week: “I want a book that’s funny!”
Librarian Jackie Reeve and I have teamed up to bring you a cheat sheet of books proven to fall into that category, a favorite for kids of any age. Get ready for some giggles!
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Bruce is a bear who loves just one thing: Eating eggs. When he picks up what he thinks is the perfect meal, he’s in for a lot more than he bargained for when the eggs hatch. The surly Bruce, the adorable baby geese, and jokes just for parents make Mother Bruce a funny, memorable read.
Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea
You can pick up any book by Bob Shea for laughs for parents and kids alike, but Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great is one of his best. Goat isn’t a fan of Unicorn, the new kid, and he’s not impressed by his dumb magic or rainbows. The bright, funny illustrations and the grumpy Goat are a combo that will appeal to girls and boys alike.
Chester by Mélanie Watt
Chester is a character who makes quite the impression on little readers. The title character isn’t about to let the author tell any ol’ story: He wants the story all about him! Chester is full of personality, humor, and a lot of attitude.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
The creative and colorfully original The Day the Crayons Quit is one of the best books out there to read aloud to your kids. Not only are the crayons’ complaints funny and clever, I doubt there’s a kid out there who won’t laugh at poor peach crayon’s plight.
The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak
Speaking of best picture books to read aloud, at the top of the list has to be The Book With No Pictures. As advertised, there are no illustrations in the book, but the ingenious text will absolutely hold a listener’s attention. Hand this one to an unsuspecting grandparent to read aloud and hilarity really will ensue.
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This is Not My Hat proves that a picture book doesn’t need to be complicated to be funny. Simple sentences encourage early readers, paired with striking and subtle illustrations that pack a lot of humor in the soft colors. This is one picture book that will be pulled off the shelf time and time again and deliver the laughs every time.
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown
Nothing about a bunny eating carrots could be silly or creepy, you might think, but Creepy Carrots is both! Not too creepy, of course, but just enough to make readers wonder what’s hiding in the shadowy corners of the pages. Jasper is certain that he’s being followed by carrots creeping along behind him, but there’s nothing there! Or is there…?
I Thought This Was A Bear Book by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Benji Davies
Three Bears, check. Goldilocks, check. An alien, check… Wait, what? The unexpected twists, bright colors, and imaginative text make this picture book one to read time and time again. The characters talk to the reader and ask for help in getting the alien back where he belongs. If you’re looking for a funny and interactive bedtime tale, pick this one up.
GeekMom received Mother Bruce for review purposes.
Top image © Disney / Hyperion