What better way to start a new year than with a laugh? It might be a giant belly laugh, a small snort, a quiet chuckle. Take a look at these books and you just might find yourself giggling, guffawing, or even tittering. Pick up a book and find what tickles your silly bone.


Ben Franklin’s Big Splash
By: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by: S. D. Schindler
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Benjamin Franklin was always curious and thinking outside of the box, even as a boy. Youthful swimming (during a time when swimming was considered unhealthy) led Ben to invent paddles to be more fish-like. One episode from the life of a “smart, stubborn, sensible son of a soap-maker” is presented in humorous, detailed illustrations and lively language.

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome
By: Bill Harley
Illustrated by: Adam Gustavson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Much to his horror, Charlie is assigned to perform as the Nice Gnome in “The Sorcerer’s Castle,” his 4th grade class play. Even though he perfected the laugh of the Evil Sorcerer, as the Gnome, Charlie saves the day — and the performance — in this laugh-out-loud funny story. Told through Charlie’s narration, readers will surely see themselves in these likable characters.

By: Antoinette Portis
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

It all started with a little brown bird that tired of making and hearing the same old sounds: caw, coo, chip, peep. Instead, it said “Froodle sproodle!” which came as an unwelcome shock to the crow, cardinal and dove. But the small brown bird’s continued wordplay inspired the others — even the crow. Simple, bold illustrations and varied type present a comical tale of individuality and lots of potential for wordplay

It’s an Orange Aardvark!
By: Michael Hall
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

“Goodness! Gracious! Yikes!” exclaim a timid group of carpenter ants as they peer out of holes made by one brave insect, viewing a rainbow of color. What they discover instead of an ant-eating, ketchup-carrying, orange aardvark with pack of green geckos will delight young readers as they see the vivid colors through die cuts and bold shapes in this satisfying, humorous tale.

Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster
By: Mike Wohnoutka
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

What’s a puppy to do when everyone is too busy, too lazy, too boring, or too mean to play? Find a new friend — a large green monster reading in the park — of course! Even the grumpiest monster is no match for the friendly little puppy’s persistent overtures and game-playing. Cartoon illustrations on open pages and short sentences present a jolly, unique friendship.

Nanny X
By: Madelyn Rosenberg
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Exciting things happen when Nanny X comes to care for 8- year-old Jake, his 10-year-old sister Alison, their not-quite 2-year-old baby sister, and dog Yeti. The slapstick action of bad-guy-plots foiled by Nanny X and her many spy gadgets (she’s really a member of the Nanny Action Patrol) — with a bit of help from the children — is told by Jake and Alison in alternating chapters.

Naughty Kitty!
By: Adam Stower
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Lily wanted a dog but instead gets a tiny, fluffy kitty. Could that small feline cause all of the trouble and mess in Lily’s house? Lily thinks so, telling the poor thing that it’s a “naughty kitty!” But readers realize from the first end pages what Lily doesn’t see. Hilarious action in comic illustration let readers stay ahead of Lily and her ultimately lionized kitty.

Oh Dear Geoffrey!
By: Gemma O’Neill
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Geoffrey is tall and clumsy and downright awkward. He slips and slides, scaring the meerkats. At the watering hole, his splashing and sploshing only makes mud, not friends. But his height comes in handy to help a troop of monkeys. Lively language and textured illustrations present a humorous tale of self-acceptance and developing friendship.

This Is a Moose
By: Richard Morris
Illustrated by: Tom Lichtenfield
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Moose wants to be an astronaut but the film is entitled “This is a Moose.” Even Moose’s lacrosse-playing grandma and doctor giraffe buddy can’t convince the filmmaker to change his role. That is, until Moose is launched into outer space. Cartoons and sophisticated asides make this goofy, offbeat tale outrageously funny with a touch of filmmaking vocabulary included.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support PBS Parents. Thank you!

More Adventures in Learning

About Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national literacy initiative that gives parents and teachers the resources they need to help young children become strong readers and writers. Our website offers lots of video (including our PBS Launching Young Readers series), hundreds of articles about helping young readers, parent tips in 11 languages, a bilingual parent e-newsletter, video interviews with well-known children’s authors, a big library of themed booklists – and much more!

You Might Also Like