Inside: Sharing funny children’s books with your kiddos is one of the best ways to get them to fall in love with reading. We’ve got just the titles for you, so come take a look!
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Funny Children’s Books Are Essential for Family Storytime!
Do you want a surefire way to make your kids fall in love with reading? Share a book with them tonight that will make them laugh till their cheeks are flushed and the grins stretched across their faces are so big they make your heart melt.
Here’s the thing.
I’m the first one to tell you that reading is magic, that books are the best tools to inspire wonder and curiosity and to help you tackle big topics with your kids.
But to get there- to really get to the point that books can become transformative tools in your own homes, your kids need to trust the reading process. They need to trust that the books you bring home are special and good. They need to trust that story time is a safe space — a time to relax, decompress and feel totally connected to their loved ones. They need to love storytime.
Funny Children’s Books Help Kids Love Reading Like They Love Chocolate Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles and a Heap of Fudge on Top.
Making intentional book choices is so tremendously important. And this is why I wholeheartedly recommend that some nights you choose stories solely for the sake of entertaining your little ones with books that are just so outrageously silly they will make your kids laugh till they’re clutching their tummies and their cheeks are damp with tears. Because when this happens? Children will associate books with F-U-N.
Remember that not every story time has to be ripe with learning experiences.
Sometimes we need magical stories purely for the sake of being transported to a place where we let go of our worries and concerns — a place where we can be happily, unabashedly free and full of wonder. Simply put?
RELATED: We’ve got all of the best children’s books for you on Happily Ever Elephants, so make sure to check ’em out!
Funny children’s books rock!
Here are some of our favorites. We hope these get two trunks up in your homes, too!
Horse Meets Dog, by Elliott Kalan and illustrated by Tim Miller: Horse is an oversized dog with some crazy-looking paws. Dog, on the other hand, is a wee-bitty horse — with a funny-looking tail. The two animals have a hard time understanding each other — and their obliviousness is bound to make you and your kiddos laugh with delight. And just wait for the ending – what does a bird think about horse and dog? This one is just so much fun!
NERP!, by Sarah Lynne Reul: This is the hilarious story of one very picky little monster. He doesn’t want to eat anything! His family’s attempts to get him to try different foods are always met with the same response: “nerp!” The little creature’s reaction to his parents’ valiant efforts will undoubtedly make your whole family giggle. But the best part? The whole book is written in monster talk! You will follow along with the story easily, and I guarantee that you will undoubtedly begin to ask your kids if they want some “frizzle frazzle hotchy potch” for dinner. This is the best! Belly laughs galore in our house!
Ella May Does it Her Way, by Mick Jackson and illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier: Oh, how this book made me laugh out loud the first time ! read it with not one child around me! Ella May is a little girl with one strong head on her shoulders. She wants to do things her way, even if others think she does things a bit — funny. One day Ella decides to do everything backwards just because… from reading her book to walking up the stairs to walking down the street. And because it makes it easier to chat, Ella’s mom starts walking backwards with her. Before you know it, half the town is walking backwards, all because of Ella May. When will it end? And what will Ella do next? This is supposedly the start of a new series, and I am so excited!
Underwear!, by Jenn Harney: Oh my goodness, I laughed so many times reading this book, and my boys thought it was absolutely hilarious. I love books that play around with language, and this zany and hilarious conversation between a dad and his bear cub will you have giggling from start to finish — and learn homonyms and conjunctions along the way. If you love the old “Who’s on First” comedy routine, this one will quickly become a family favorite.
I’m Bored, by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi: Being a kid can definitely be boring, but one little girl is suddenly reminded about how much fun life can be as she tries to convince a potato that life as a little girl can be pretty awesome. Wait — did I say potato? You better believe it! Will the unenthused potato ever be convinced that kids are super fun? And will a flamingo be able to help that potato out of his funk?
Once Upon a Goat, by Dan Richards and illustrated by Eric Barclay: Once upon a time, a king and a queen — both of whom were verrrrrry proper, begged their fairy godmother for a baby — a baby boy, specifically, one with bright eyes and lips like roses. They knew this was a bit specific, however, so they told their fairy godmother that any kid would do. When a baby goat shows up on their doorway (a real kid!) what on earth will the king and queen do? Will this delightful kid ever become part of the royal family? Fun, fresh and funny, and a great book to show kids that even when we don’t get exactly what we hope for, the result can be just as wonderful!
Snail & Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends, by Tina Kugler: Oh my goodness. You and your kids will laugh out loud with both this one and its sequel, Snail & Worm Again. Not only is this a fabulous easy chapter book for your new readers (the second book won a Geisel honor!) but you will love the way the illustrations elevate the text to a whole new level. Your kids will be laughing nonstop when they realize how ironic and just plain silly the images are when read in combination with the text. Snail and Worm falls into both the best books for beginning readers and easy chapter book categories. For our full review of Snail & Worm, click here!
Du Iz Tak?, by Carson Ellis: Read this once with your kids, and I promise they will be rolling on the floor laughing as they listen to the made up “bug language.” Read it a second time, and magic happens when your little ones realize the words actually make sense. This book is genius, both for the hilarity it inspires and the critical thinking it involves. Even better? I almost guarantee your kids and students will be wholly engaged in creating their own unique languages long after the book is put down. one of our all time faves!
I Have a Balloon, by Ariel Bernstein and illustrated by Scott Magoon: This book never fails to crack us up, and my big one loves explaining away what happens at the end of the book – his conclusion changes on every read! This is a fabulous book to introduce wants and needs to your kids, and it is a surefire pick to elicit belly laughs from your little ones.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen: Sam and Dave have one single mission: to dig a hole until they find something spectacular. So they dig and dig, until their hole is so deep that their heads are underground. Though the boys think something spectacular does indeed happen in the end, it’s not what the reader anticipates… and this is just one of the things that makes this story so fantastic. We absolutely love books where the textual and visual narratives tell two different stories, each serving to support and enhance the other while at the same time carrying their own weight. And this one is just the best!
Make a Wish, Henry Bear, by Liam Francis Walsh: With a vintage feel, this darling book feels like a throwback to our own childhoods, and I just love it! Poor Henry thinks his parents are so strange. They love it if he stays up til all hours of the night, eat lots of chocolate, and even encourage him to get in trouble with his teachers. Turns out, Henry wished on his last birthday that his parents were more fun — and maybe that wish coming true wasn’t so great after all. What will he wish for when his birthday comes around again?
Life on Mars, by Jon Agee: This book, about a boy searching for life on Mars, kills me every single time. I don’t know what it is that makes me love it so much, but it’s just ridiculously fun. As I said above, you know my favorite kinds of picture books are those where the text and illustrations tell different stories– and sometimes totally contradict each other. There is something so wondrous about watching kids read and interpret these books, and when they truly understand the interplay between the two different narratives, it’s like witnessing a little piece of magic.This book, about a boy searching for life on Mars who has no clue he’s being followed by a real life martian, is simply fabulous.
Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathman: Officer Buckle is sent off to schools to share safety tips with students, and he usually bores his audience to tears. Enter Gloria, the police department’s new dog, who begins to accompany Officer Buckle to his presentations. Suddenly, the audience comes alive! While he grows proud of his public speaking abilities, the reader quickly recognizes that maybe Officer Buckle’s presentations are getting a little help from his new companion. The result? Squeals and giggles from your kids as they realize that Gloria has her own agenda.
Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise, by David Ezra Stein: In this sequel to the Caldecott Honor Book, Interrupting Chicken, everyone’s favorite little red chicken can’t wait to tell her father what she learned at school: every great story has an elephant of surprise! Or is it an “element” of surprise, as Papa tries to explain? The little red chicken insists she is right and Papa sets out to convince her otherwise. After all, there are definitely no elephants in Rapunzel or The Ugly Duckling. Or are there? This work of brilliance and hilarity cracks us up every single time!
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, by Peter Brown: Mr. Tiger is bored with his life because he is always made to act proper. So what does he do? He begins to bend the rules, little by little- first by walking on all fours, then by roaring loudly, and then by taking off his suit and jacket (which is guaranteed to get some glorious giggles out of your kids!) Mr. Tiger’s family and friends are not thrilled with his behavior and tell him he would be better served in the wilderness, so off he goes. This fun and adorable story reminds our kids how important it is to remain true to themselves, to stand up for what they believe in, and, when necessary, to go against the grain. For our full review of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, click here!
Duck! Rabbit!, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld: Two narrators (who are off the page and therefore unseen) are debating the nature of the animal at the heart of this book. One is certain it’s a rabbit, but the other knows, unquestionably, that it is in fact a duck. One sees rabbit ears, the other sees a bill. One sees the animal eating bread, the other sees it eating a carrot. Who is right? Is there a right? I’ve always loved optical illusions, and this book made us laugh out loud from start to finish!
Creepy Pair of Underwear, by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown: This has been on heavy rotation in our house since the day it came in the mail, so much so that when my son had to dress as a book character for a party at school he chose to go as Jasper Rabbit in his ghoulish, glowing underwear. I mean, take a pair of neon green underpants, smack a creepy, Frankenstein-esque face on them, and mail them to China (only to have them immediately returned with a pair of chopsticks!), and its clear you have a winner on your hands. Need I say more?
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, by Ryan T. Higgins: For any child who has ever feared the first day of school — or any new situation, for that matter — this book provides a fabulous dose of belly laughs to help conquer those back to school nerve. As anxious as your little ones may be, they will feel better knowing they won’t have to worry about dinosaurs showing up in their classrooms (and nibbling their arms at snack time)!
Elephant & Piggie, We Are in a Book: This is, hands down, our favorite of the outstanding Elephant and Piggie series for the way the reader is brought into the book and made such a significant part of the story. Metafiction at its finest, Piggie and Gerald realize that the reader has to read aloud all of the words in the book — and that means they have to say whatever is on the page! The two character have a blast as they get their readers to say silly words and phrases, until they realize the book will come to an end.. and Gerald goes into crisis mode. Simply put — the best!
Giraffe Problems, by Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith: If you are looking for a funny self esteem book for kids that celebrates self acceptance and our distinguishing, unique characteristics, look no further! Giraffe is miserably self conscious about something- if you guessed his neck, you are right! It is so long, and no other animal has a neck like his. He’s tried hiding it and disguising it, but it’s no use. Luckily, another animal comes along to help him realize all the awesome things he can do with a long neck— and how unbelievably great he looks in a bow tie. This one is so much fun!
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, as Retold by Mo Willems: This fractured fairy tale is hilarious, and if your kids know the original story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, they will absolutely love this brilliant retelling about Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur… and another dinosaur who just so happened to be visiting from Norway. LOL!! One day, the three dinosaurs decided to tidy up their house and make chocolate pudding. They were definitely, most definitely not, trying to set a trap for one unsuspecting little girl. Or were they?
Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy, by Drew Daywalt and Scott Campbell: If your child hates bedtime, you need this book in your life! Roderick hates going to sleep by himself, and after trying endless ways to stall and distract his parents, they decide to get him a goodnight buddy so Roderick won’t be alone in his room. But Roderick’s new buddy, Sleepy, also happens to be the king of distraction, and his antics will have you and your kids in stitches. When Sleepy’s shenanigans are too exhausting to entertain any longer, Roderick falls asleep — and his bedtime buddy may live up to his name after all.
I am Famous, by Tara Leubbe and Becky Cattie and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff: If you have a child who lives for the stage, this book is for you. This one cracks us up, because Kiely doesn’t just think she is famous, she knows she’s famous. The paparazzi (her adoring parents) take pics of her wherever she goes, and she even has a personal chef and chauffeur (gotta love mom!). This one is perfect for kids who dream they are stars of their own shows.
The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse, by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen: As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing this duo can’t do. Talk about turning option B into one heck of a party! I just adore how the duck and the mouse make the very most of getting eaten by the wolf- and how they manage to outsmart him, too. “I may have been swallowed, but I have no intention of being eaten.” This may just be one of my favorite picture book lines ever!
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney: A pancake and a piece of french toast are the best of friends, until that fateful day they discover there is only one drop of syrup left in the fridge. Behind the closed doors of the refrigerator, all food comes to life, and the competition to get to that last drop of syrup is not just fierce, but incredibly fun as well. Talk about a rollicking rhyming romp! This may just be the most imaginative food fight ever, and if your little ones are anything like mine, they will totally delight in the escapades that ensue once the refrigerator doors close and the food inside takes over — and then imagine some of their own. For our full review of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, click here!
Best Frints in the Whole Universe, by Antoinette Portis: This zany and hilarious story is about two residents of the planet Boborp who have been best buds — or “Frints” — since they were just little blobbies. But when Omek decides to take Yelfred’s spaceship out for a spin — without asking — their “frintship” hits a universe-sized snag. Will they eventually make up and get past it? Or are they destined to be “alienated” from each other forever? For our full review of Best Frints in the Whole Universe, click here!
Let me Finish!, by Minh Le and illustrated by Isabel Roxas: For any child that loves stories and does not want his book spoiled, this adorable book is simply priceless! When one little boy sits down to read, all he wants is some peace and quiet. But then some noisy animals come along, and they threaten to not only spoil his solitude, but the book, too! Will the animals ruin the story, or will they give the boy a surprise ending of his own?
The Book with No Pictures, by BJ Novak: Belly laughs. Snorts and squeals. Uncontrollable giggles. This is one of the most fun read alouds ever. Will a child enjoy a book with no pictures? That sounds boring. Really boring. But not this book. because the storyteller has to read all the words on all of the pages. And when the words on those pages are awfully silly, get ready for total and utter hilarity.
Don’t Blink, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by David Roberts: This ingenious bedtime book by the late AKR is fabulous. Can your kids rise to the challenge and refrain from blinking in one heck of a staring contest? I guarantee they will do everything in their power to pass the test however they can, because if they can get to the end of the book without blinking, they win a very coveted prize: they get to avoid bedtime! This one is guaranteed to make your kids laugh — and you too!
I Say Ooh You Say Aah, by John Kane: I had a hard time reading this one in school because both my students and I were laughing so hard, I could barely get through the book! This zany, interactive read aloud is perfect for a fun afternoon when you are totally ok with letting your kids and students get a little bit bonkers. They will not stop laughing as they help you tell the story and follow the readers prompts. They will not stop giggling, and they will think this book is magic, I promise. Love this one for the kindergarten set!
Still Stuck, by Shinsuke Yoshitake: There’s no debating that getting dressed can be challenging — after all, what child doesn’t want to do things all by himself? The premise of the book is simple — a little boy gets stuck while trying to take off his shirt so he can get into the bath. However will he get out? Are other people stuck too? What will he do if his cat starts to tickle his tummy? And — gasp! — what will happen if he never gets unstuck? Cue the laughter!
This is a Taco!, by Andrew Cangelose and illustrated by Josh Shipley: This book starts off as a primer about squirrels, and Taco, a squirrel, is supposed to help explain interesting facts to the reader. Turns out, Taco doesn’t really like where the story is going, and so he decides to rewrite the story to serve his own needs a little bit better. After all, he doesn’t like nuts and bark — Taco likes Tacos, of course. But — wait a minute — did someone say predator? This funny book uses humor and a stellar voice to convey the message that the very best stories are the ones we write ourselves!
Bob, Not Bob!: *to be read as though you have the worst cold ever, by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Matthew Cordell: Poor Louie is sick in bed – his nose is clogged, his ears are clogged, and his head feels huge! Louie just wants his mom to come take care of him, but when he tries to call for Mom, his slobbery dog Bob keeps running to him instead. Will his congestion ever clear so that Louie gets the right caregiver? Omg – I dare you to try not to laugh as you read this through as though you have a terrible cold. So. Much. Fun!!!!
Potato Pants!, by Laurie Keller: A potato and an eggplant walk into a store… and can you guess what happens next? Probably not, because whoever thought you would find a potato rushing into Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants to grab a pair of potato pants? This book is delightful, witty, and so fun to read aloud to kids who are eager to see if Potato will end up victorious… or just plain fried.
The Panda Problem, by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Hannah Marks: Teach kids about writing a story with this hilarious book about a panda that needs to find a problem. Every story has to have a problem, but what if the panda himself is the problem? When the story gets away from the narrator, you and your kiddos won’t be able to keep from laughing!
The Very Impatient Caterpillar, by Ross Burach: If there’s one thing children can relate to, it’s that being patient can be downright tough! This is the story of a caterpillar who can’t wait to become a butterfly — but he gets a little antsy as he waits to metamorphosize. Why on earth does it take so long? Will he ever be able to do it? This factual and funny book will make your kids squeal with delight — and it will teach them a little something, too.
You Must Bring a Hat, by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley: You are invited to a party — but only if you bring one awesome hat. The boy doesn’t have a hat, but he finds a monkey with one, so he brings the monkey along, only to find out you have to play by the rules to enter. And there are a lot of rules. Will the boy and his animal friends ever make it inside to the celebration, or will the totally preposterous rules keep them out forever?
Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies, by Megan Lacera and Jorge Lacera: Have a child who does not want to eat veggies? Maybe he will rethink this position. After all, it could be so much worse – poor Mo is a zombie, and his parents only want him to eat zombie cuisine. But Mo has a hankering for veggies, and he does everything in his power to get his parents to give peas a chance. Laugh out loud funny, this one is sure to be a winner among your pickiest eaters!
“Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze,” by Patricia Thomas and illustrated by Wallace Tripp: Uh oh. The animals are in panic mode. Why? Because the elephant has to sneeze – and if he does, the monkeys will get blown out of the trees, and feathers will fly off the birds, and the zebras will lose their stripes. It’s a catastrophe in the making… but it will leave your kids doubled over with laughter. Told in fun verse, this is a read aloud gem!