I’m a writer. I strive to be a funny writer. Sometimes I win, sometimes I trip all over myself and end up in a sad pile of fail on the ground. It happens to the best of us.
But, one thing remains consistent: I love hearing children laugh. I mean, who doesn’t? The only thing better than hearing my kids laugh, is genuinely laughing along with them. Sure, sometimes when they say fart really loudly, or climb on my back and ask me to crawl on the floor like a horse, I laugh along with them. But, when that gets old (to me. It never gets old to them,) I find any excuse to plant my butt on a couch to catch my breath. The quickest way to do this is to promise to read a stack of books. I have an entirely different list I’ll share at some point of sweet books, but when we’re still in play mode, I like pulling out the funny books. The ones that make us all laugh - helping angels all over get their wings. Wait, they get those from bells ringing, not kids laughing. Nevermind. Sorry angels.
Enter my Top 10 list of funniest children’s picture books.
1. The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak
I’m sure you’re familiar with BJ Novak’s masterpiece by now. It’s a gem. A gem that makes us all wonder why we didn’t think of doing that before. Oh, right. Because we are not the creators of The Office and therefore don’t have brilliant ideas like that. The premise is, this book has zero pictures. Boring, right? WRONG. Through funny phrases and made-up words, kids find it hilarious hearing adults say all these silly things. And I find it hilarious when unsuspecting visitors come to our house and my kids beg them to read this book. I secretly take videos of them all.
2. Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
This book is hilarious. Hi. lar. ious. An extra excited moose tries to wait patiently for his turn to shine as the story starts in on the alphabet. But, the moose can’t hold it in and starts showing up on other letter’s pages. When M finally arrives, moose is devastated to find that the casting agent chose a mouse instead of him to represent, and he loses his cool. It’s true brilliance. And, did I mention, hilarious?
3. Penguin’s Hidden Talent by Alex Latimer
There’s a section in my recently released funny memoir that talks about how my sister always felt lost when it was time for our annual family reunion talent show. This book nails the scene perfectly. Poor penguin doesn’t know what he’s good at as he watches all his friends practice their talents for the big show. So, he decides to help coordinate the event instead and finds he’s really good at that. The writing is awesome, but the illustrations really kill me on this one. I actually think I laugh louder through this book than my kids. It’s just so relatable!
4. Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
Poor little owl falls out of his tree while he’s napping and spends the book trying to find his mommy. A quirky little squirrel helps him on his hunt, but can’t quite visualize the description owl gives of his mom. Whenever I read this one, I give the squirrel a spastic voice, like Hammy on Over the Hedge. The frog gets a slow, deep voice. The kids crack up. I crack up. Rainbows shine over our house. I love this book.
5. Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper
I love the simplicity of this book. Poor vanilla cupcake is left all alone on a platter after all his brothers and sisters get chosen. With the help of boring candle (similarly abandoned), they try to figure out what would make cupcake more exciting and attractive. The premise is simple, the illustrations are basic. It’s just a great little story.
6. Hippos Go Berzerk by Sandra Boynton
I love Sandra Boynton anyway, but this book is just the best. A bored hippo invites all his friends over for a party and things get a little out of hand before everyone leaves. Because, why not?
7. This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
“Wilfred owned a moose...” Wilfred spends most of the book proud of his “pet” moose, without realizing that the moose actually has no attachment to Wilfred. The illustrations are adorable and the vacant look on the moose’s face just cracks me up.
8. Exclamation Point by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Adorable. Another simply illustrated book that will make you think, Why didn't I think of that?? Because we are not as brilliant as Amy Krouse Rosenthal. A short story about how exclamation point comes to find that his purpose is different than his fellow punctuations. Brilliant.
I know there’s a million more funny children’s books out there - I'd love to hear your favorites in the comments below, but take my word for it, these ones are a great start to keep your kids, and you, entertained in lieu of farting noises.
Like what you see? Check out my quirky memoir about finding your path in life.
I'D RATHER WEAR PAJAMAS