There’s nothing like a good laugh! We aim to please with this selection of funny books for kids ages 0-9 that’ll have you laughing out loud. Whether it’s a giant pickle stuck in a roof or a writerly duck who tricks a farmer (again!), the unexpected situations and hilarious stories will bring you a smile.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
By: Judi Barrett, Ron Barrett
Illustrated by: Ron Barrett
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Residents of Chewandswallow were accustomed to their predictable weather which kept them in juice and mashed potatoes (and more) three times a day. That is, until the weather took a strange turn; foods falling not only got larger, but so did the portions! This outrageous tale will be released as a film in September 2009.

Duck on a Bike
By: David Shannon
Illustrated by: David Shannon
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
When Duck decides to try riding a bike, the other farm animals scoff at him – that is, until a group of kids leave their bikes unattended. Expressive illustrations use different perspectives to show the animals gleefully riding the bikes around the barnyard in this imaginative and funny romp.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack
By: Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin
Illustrated by: Betsy Lewin
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
When Farmer Brown leaves his brother in charge, he warns Bob to keep an eye on the duck, because “he’s trouble.” Bob follows the farmer’s written instructions to the letter, but are they authentic? Astute readers will know who’s really writing them from the animated, cartoon-like illustrations. The animals were first introduced in Click, Clack, Moo(Simon and Schuster,2000), another barnyard chuckler.

Knock, Knock! Who’s There?
By: Tad Hills
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
Knock, Knock! “Who’s There?” “Olive” “Olive Who?” “Olive you so much!” Only ten knock-knock jokes are in this gentle and pun-filled book, subtitled “My First Book of Knock-Knock Jokes.” Sturdy and colorful and designed for preschoolers, the set up for each joke is on one page and the answer is beneath the flap on the other. Youngsters will soon be telling these jokes on their own.

Olivia Counts
By: Ian Falconer
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
The engaging pig first met in Olivia (Atheneum, 2000)introduces counting from one to ten. Young children will enjoy Olivia’s mischief and silly poses in this simple but appealing counting book.

Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick
By: Kevin Henkes
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
Sheila Rae taunts Louise with her peppermint stick, not wanting to share it, and uses her experience to trick her sibling. Louise eventually gets some of the candy, and Sheila Rae gets her comeuppance in a very satisfying ending. Children of all ages will see themselves in these characters, first introduced in Sheila Rae, the Brave (Greenwillow, 1987)

Shrek!
By: William Steig
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Ugly ogre parents make an even uglier ogre son named Shrek. Of course Shrek seeks (on the back of a donkey) and finds a bride — an ogress even uglier than he! Enjoy the rich language used in the now 20-years-old and still-funny picture book that inspired a movie adaptation.

The Know Nothings
By: Michelle Spirn, R.W. Alley
Illustrated by: R.W. Alley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Morris, Doris, Boris and Norris can’t get much right – including eating a banana – but they do know how to laugh at themselves (and get readers chuckling!). Infour short chapters, perfect for newly independent readers, the four friends enjoy simple things in their own silly way.

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
By: Jon Scieszka
Illustrated by: Lane Smith
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
The incomparable author and illustrator team retells traditional tales such as the “Gingerbread Man” and the “Little Red Hen” in inventive and hilarious ways, sure to make readers familiar with the originals laugh out loud. Even the traditional format of the book is changed to suit the absurdity of the new versions, for a memorable reading experience.

There’s a Wocket in My Pocket!
By: Dr. Seuss
Illustrated by: Dr. Seuss
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
What kind of house do you live in? In this classic beginner book from Dr. Seuss, the simple, bouncy rhymes show all kinds of strange creatures living in the different rooms of a house. Some are rather nice and some not at all. The amusing, silly tale will keep a youngster’s attention to the very end.

Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day
By: Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Cornell
Illustrated by: Laura Cornell
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
This lighthearted approach to a young child’s changingfeelings is told with a rhyming cadence and equally appealing, cartoon-like illustrations. Thegentle levity of the style allows children andadults to put words to the feelings that they recognizein themselves.

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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!

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  • Dede Rush

    Chicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black and Kevin Hawkes is definitely a favorite of my kids.