Monday, October 6

25 Funny Picture Books for Everyone

Sometimes, when you read to kids all day long, you can get really sick of picture books. But do you know what helps me? The really funny ones. The ones with a subtle adult humor, as well as the basic kid's humor. I'll read those over and over. So this here is a list of my very favorite funny books. Ones where the adult and child can both laugh.

It started with 11 suggestions, but it kind of kept growing within each of those suggestions...

We Are in a Book!
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems

"Banana." Read this book, and you will laugh. I guarantee it. (Unless you force yourself not to, just to prove me wrong.) Of course, all of the Elephant & Piggie books are funny. Actually, just throw in all of Willems' books. A close, close second would be Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Followed by Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. And his Pigeon books. And every other thing he writes. Really. I wish I could explain every reason why I think this man is a genius, but then this would be a really long blog post. Actually, read this post from Mommy and Me Book Club, which outlines some clear reasons why Mo Willems' books are perfect. Then maybe you'll understand my obsession.

This Is a Moose
Written by Richard T. Morris, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

It's the subtle things in this book. I mean, the storyline itself is pretty funny, but I was actually laughing because of the illustrations. So, don't just read this one. Really have fun with it. Plus, it also encourages movie-making. Thus, leading to a rather fun activity you can do with your kids. Also, Tom Lichtenheld illustrated Shark vs. Train (written by Chris Barton) which is also super comical, mainly because of the captions. And, because, you's a shark fighting a train. 

Written and illustrated by Todd Arnold

Do you remember what you thought the first time you discovered your bellybutton lint? Because it was probably pretty funny. And this book is all about a rather hilarious kid discovering such things about himself. I mean, really, I don't even know how to explain it. Just go read it! And laugh at it! Plus, there are more in series, so your joy can continue. I particularly enjoyed More Parts, which is all about funny sayings (I mean, what do you think a kid is thinking when you say "hold your tongue"?).

Children Make Terrible Pets
Written and illustrated by Peter Brown

Ah, Peter Brown. Another favorite comical author/illustrator of mine. This book is all about a sweet little bear--Lucille Beatrice Bear--who just wants her very own child! Can't be that hard, right? This favorite is followed closely by Mr. Tiger Goes Wild which includes a naked tiger. I know, right?? Plus all of his other books.

I Want My Hat Back
Written and illustrated by John Klassen

It's a tragedy: a bear has lost is beloved hat and can't find it anywhere. And no, rabbit hasn't seen it, why would you ask such a thing?? Its super simple illustrations and subtle humor totally gets adults and kids alike. I mean, really, it's just the right amount of genius. Which, of course, means that the companion book, This Is Not My Hat, is also utterly fantastic.

Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The poor kid's kite is stuck in the tree. Of course he's going to try everything to get it out. It may escalate, however... I laughed. My storytime group laughed. It is pretty awesome. Most of Jeffers' books are awesome, actually. He illustrated The Day the Crayons Quit (by Drew Daywalt) and that book is pretty dang great.

A Is for Musk Ox
Written by Erin Cabatingan, illustrated by Matthew Myers (Illustrator)

A is totally for Musk Ox because they're Awesome and live in the Arctic, which includes Alaska! Learn all about an animal you've never heard of and frustrate the Z for Zebra while you're at it. It's companion books, Musk Ox Counts and The World According to Musk Ox totally build on this hilarious relationship. Or you can try Z Is for Moose (Kelly Bingham & Paul Zelinsky) because it is also about a bitter—yet totally hilarious—zebra trying to make an alphabet book.

But Not the Hippopotamus
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton

The hog and the frog may be dancing in the bog...but not the hippopotamus. Life is hard when you don't have a rhyme. This book is so funny, and the ending is priceless. And its a board book (start 'em young!). Yet another author where I would recommend all of her books. Like Moo Baa La La La. Man I love that one.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
Written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin

All day long, that's what the farmer hears: "click, clack MOO!" I mean, honestly, you know it's going to be funny when some cows have access to a typewriter. Have you read Duck for President yet? Because that is also hilarious.

Written by Michael Ian Black, illustrated Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Michael Ian Black is a comedian. So really, nothing more needs to be said. Oh, except the title is "Naked!" Like, honestly. You can't go wrong. I don't think my storytime kids have giggled more with any other book. And, plus, their other book, I'm Bored is another fun option.

Interrupting Chicken
Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

Daddy chicken is just trying to read his son some bedtime stories. But he has some different endings in mind. Especially awesome if you have a child that likes to interrupt you while reading. Because then it is just, like, the Inception of reading. 
. . . . .

Of course, everyone's humor is a little different. But I sure hope you'll get a laugh out of at least one or two of these books! Any favorites I forgot?

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