Fifteen Books to Get the Whole Family GigglingKids love funny books.

Scholastic’s “Kids and Family Reading Report” found that 70 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 say they want to read books that “make me laugh” — a higher percentage than any other criterion received.

But silly books can be good for families too. There’s something cathartic about a good belly laugh, especially one that you share with people you love.

The first time I read B. J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures to my five-year-old, I laughed so hard I had to stop reading to catch my breath. My daughter was mesmerized — both by the book and by my reaction — and descended into her own fit of giggles. We read it three times in a row. When her dad walked in, she said, “You just have to read this. It’s going to make you say ‘Boo-Boo Butt!'” Fact check: true. And the other day, when she was feeling a little cranky at bedtime, she pulled that book off her shelf and said, “Let’s read this one again. It’ll make me feel better.”

Here’s my list of fifteen favorite read-alouds that will get kids and parents giggling. Please add your favorites in the comments!

  1. The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak
    A book with no pictures might sound boring. Except, as the text explains, “Here is how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say.” No matter how silly!
  2. Double Trouble In Walla Walla by Andrew Clements (Author) and Salvatore Murdocca (Illustrator)
    Lulu finds herself in a topsy-turvy word warp, causing her to utter sentences such as: “Mrs. Bell, I feel like a nit-wit. My homework is all higgledy-piggledy. Last night it was in tip-top shape, but now it’s a mish-mash.”
  3. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
    Little Chicken loves bedtime stories, but she just can’t help interrupting Papa Chicken as she tries to save fairy tale characters from making terrible mistakes!
  4. The Piggy in the Puddle by Charlotte Pomerantz (Author) and James Marshall (Illustrator)
    Written in irresistible tongue-twisting verse, this book tells the story of a little pig who refuses to leave her cozy mud puddle, much to her family’s dismay.
  5. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
    How do you get a stuck kite out of a tree? Throw a shoe to knock it down, of course! And if that gets stuck too? Don’t give up! Try throwing up a boat, or an orangutan, or a door, or a whale, or a . . .
  6. Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos (Author) and Joy Ang (Illustrator)
    The first two lines are as much introduction as this silly book needs: “When Baby Billy was born, his family noticed something odd: he had a mustache.”
  7. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt (Author) and Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
    When Duncan sits down to color, he finds a series of letters from his crayons, each declaring “I quit!” If you enjoy this one, you’ll also want to check out the sequel: The Day the Crayons Came Home.
  8. The Monster at the End of This Book, Jon Stone (Author) and Michael Smollin (Illustrator)
    After reading the title of the book, Sesame Street’s Grover begs the reader to “STOP TURNING PAGES.” Imagine his surprise when he, “lovable furry old Grover,” is the monster at the end of the book.
  9. The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems
    It’s hard to go wrong with Mo Willems. All the books in Willem’s “Pigeon” series are delightful, as are his Knuffle Bunny books. “The Pigeon Needs a Bath” is a favorite at our house, and we often quote it at bathtime as we decide if the water is “too hot, too cold, too lukewarm” or simply “too wet!”
  10. Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
    Both of my kids loved this one as young toddlers. All the animals in the book seem to know how to wear their clothes properly, except the turkey. Oops! As a bonus, this book can help young kids learn their colors.
  11. Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Author) and Jen Corace (Illustrator)
    Poor Little Pea has to eat candy for dinner (“Blech!”) when all he really wants is a big bowl of spinach.
  12. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin (Author) and Daniel Salmieri (Illustrator)
    Dragons love tacos, and they will love to come to your taco party. Just make sure there are no teeny tiny hot peppers hidden inside that totally mild jar of salsa you serve with them!
  13. Press Here by Herve Tullet
    This interactive book starts with a yellow dot. When kids “press here” and turn the page, magic unfolds — without a touch screen!
  14. Mind Your Manners, B. B. Wolf by Judy Sierra (Author) and J. Otto Seibold (Illustrator)
    When the Big Bad Wolf is invited to a Storybook Tea at the library, he wants to be on his best behavior, so he asks a crocodile to teach him a thing or two about etiquette.
  15. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas (Author) and Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)
    When Mama Wolf sends her three little wolves into the world to build themselves houses, she warns them, “Beware of the Big Bad Pig!” A delightful twist on a familiar fairy tale!

What books trigger giggles in your kids?


About Deborah Farmer Kris

Deborah Farmer Kris spent several years as a K-12 educator and as an associate at Boston University’s Center for Character and Social Responsibility. She is a regular contributor for MindShift and the mother of two young children. You can follow her on Twitter @dfkris.

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