Sunday, April 1, 2012

Top 5 Funny Picture Books

For me, the first criteria in judging a picture book is whether or not it makes my family laugh.  There is just something about your children giggling next to you as they get the humor in an especially clever book which is priceless to me.  I also find that the funny books are the ones kids go back to time and time again.

This week I have chosen some laugh out loud funny books, some with decidedly quirky humor and some touching books that use humor to elevate their charm.  It was hard to narrow it down to five, so I think I will post my runner ups in the upcoming weeks.  Hope you all get a good laugh out of them!

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Title:         Let’s Do Nothing
Author:     Tony Fucile
Target:      Preschool - Grade 2
What this book is about:
They have played baseball, painted pictures, baked cookies, played board games, read every comic book ever what?!  Just when it seems boredom will overtake them, Sal and Frankie decide to do nothing,  But as they discover, doing nothing isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Why I love this book:
This book cracks me and my family up every time we read it!  Frankie’s imagination is priceless so that even when he pretends to be a statue, he gets bombarded by pigeons.  When he pretends to be a tree, the family dog uses him for well..what dogs use trees for, and when he pretends to be a will just have to read it to find out!
Who this book is for:
Any family who enjoys a great laugh out loud read.  There isn’t a lot of text, but it is the well timed phrases and the pictures that create the funny moments in this book.
Final thoughts:
Do something and get this wonderful book for your family!

To purchase this book, visit you local bookstore or click here: Let's Do Nothing!

Title:          A House in the Woods

Author:      Inga Moore
Target:       Preschool-Grade 2
What this book is about:
Two little pigs build their houses next to each other, only to return to find Bear and Moose have moved in, with the tragic consequence - they are too big for the abodes.  The four friends decide to build a house they can all live in together and employ the Beavers - at a cost of four plates of peanut butter sandwiches - to get the house built.
Why I love this book:
The cover of this book just said boring to me.  In fact, if I hadn’t read a wonderful review of the book on the Hickelbee’s website, I might never have read the book at all.  I’m so glad I didn’t judge this book by it’s cover.
I call this my quietly funny book.  There are no big laugh out loud moments, but my daughter and I were grinning the whole time we were reading it.  From the clever illustrations (the moose drawings are my favorite, with the beavers a close second) to the language where unexpected things seem so commonplace in the story - this is where Moore’s humor shows itself so well - the book is an absolute delight!
Who this book is for:
I can’t think of a child who wouldn’t like this book.  Touching and funny all at the same time!
Final thoughts:
At the end of the day, the clever humor in this book elevates it from just being a sweet story about family, to a truly original book.

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here: A House in the Woods


Author:Oliver Jeffers
Target:Preschool - Grade 2
What this book is about:
When young Floyd gets his kite stuck up in the tree, he tries throwing up his favorite shoe to get it down.  When his favorite shoe gets stuck he tries throwing up his other shoe which also gets stuck! Of course he can’t stop now, as the series of items get bigger and funnier.  Suffice it to say that he does eventually get his kite down, but that is not where this very funny story ends!
Why I love it:
Laugh out loud funny, really my favorite quality in a children’s book!  And not just funny for kids, but also clever enough for adults.  There are so many smaller bits of humor in the book that kids will understand, although they may need a parent to point them out, and that discovery for them is delightful!
Who this book is for:
Any child will devour this book, but it does make a wonderful read aloud for a classroom, in case you were wondering!
Final thoughts:
As the author says, the best way to solve a problem is to throw things at it (even the kitchen sink!)

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here: Stuck

Title:          I Want my Hat Back
Author:     Jon Klassen
Target:      Preschool-Grade 1
What this book is about:
Told completely in a dialogue format, Bear has lost his hat and asks many of the forest animals if they have seen it.  When he figures out where his hat can be found, the true humor of the book kicks in.  We learn that those who protest the most, are probably the most guilty.
Why I love this book:
Illustrations are simple but perfect for the story!  The sly humor is laugh out loud funny and the reader is in on the joke!  I love it when an author can use deadpan humor that both a child and an adult can relate to.  
Who this book is for:
Children who love great illustrations and a great story.  The only concern I will voice is that the ending can be taken as a bit severe.  However, it is left up to the reader to decide the fate of  our hat stealing rabbit.  
Final thoughts:
A simple book that delivers!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here: I Want My Hat Back

Book:          Cowboy & Octopus

Author:        Jon Scieszka
Target:         Preschool to Grade 2
What this book is about: 
This book is about two unlikely friends, cowboy and octopus who encounter many of the same problems that friends do, and always find an agreeable, albeit funny ways to solve them.  There are 7 stories within the book which include octopus “fixing” a broken teeter-totter by sitting  on the other end, a knock knock joke gone awry, to an all bean feast prepared by cowboy for octopus.
Why I love this book: 
I have read this book twice in my children’s first grade class, and both times it has had a wonderful reception!  I just love it when kids laugh out loud at the stories!  However, to say that it is quirky is an understatement!  You need to have an oddball sense of humor to really appreciate this set of stories.  I also want to note that I really like the message of friendship that the book embraces.
Who this book is for:
Those who are familiar with Scieszka’s work (Stinky Cheese Man, Math Curse) will surely appreciate this picture book for the younger set.  
Final thoughts:
Even as my kids get older they still love to pull this book off the shelf.

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here: Cowboy and Octopus


  1. I Want My Hat Back has come home from the school library twice so far this year with my kindergartner. It's a fun read for us both. Can't wait to get these other books. As always love your recommendations.

  2. I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. . . Picture Punches