If you’re looking for books that will make you laugh, we’ve compiled a list of eight funny books that make bedtime reading fun for everyone.
1. “It Might Be An Apple” by Shinsuke Yoshitake
Recommended for ages 2–6
That red, round object on the table might be an apple. Or an overgrown cherry or a red fish curled up, or, whatever it is, it might grow legs and roll you up into a ball before taking your place!
Shinsuke Yoshitake does not get the attention he deserves from American audiences. This Japanese storyteller is one of the most creative children’s book writers we’ve come across this year. In this book, the idea of imagination is taken to the absurd for lots of laughs.
2. “Can I Play Too? (An Elephant and Piggie Book)” by Mo Willems
Recommended for ages 3–5
Everybody loves a Mo Willems classic, but if you’re looking for a funny story, this should be your new go-to read. It has the same simple drawings found in other Elephant and Piggie books but includes a new snake friend as well. On the surface, it’s a story about a snake that wants to play catch. Unfortunately, like most snakes, he has no hands. So, after a series of failed attempts, Elephant and Piggie come up with an unexpectedly hilarious solution to the problem.
Not only does this book provide feel-good laughs appropriate for any age, but it’s also easy to read for emergent readers. On a deeper level, it also exposes children to the idea that people come with many types of bodies and abilities. Although you may not want to toss your real-life friends around like a ball, you can always find a way to play together.
3. “I Love You, Stinky Face” by Lisa McCourt
Recommended for ages 4–6
This goofy picture book allows children to use fun phrases like “stinky face” without it being an insult. Follow this story as a child asks his mom to confirm “Would you love me if I were a big, scary ape?” and other important life questions.
4. “This Book Is Upside Down” by Erin Rose Wage
Recommended for ages 4–8
Half the pictures in this book are drawn upside down … or are they?
Read this ridiculous tale of a giraffe and a penguin trying to figure out who is upside down and how did they possibly get that way?
Sit across from your kids with this book between you, so you’re looking at the pictures from the top and they’re looking at them from the bottom for added enjoyment.
5. “The Book with No Pictures” by B.J. Novak
Recommended for ages 5–8
This recent favorite by comedian B.J. Novak is just what the title describes — a book with no pictures. What is a book with no pictures, you ask? It’s a book full of beautifully designed pages that remind listeners that no matter what the words say, the reader has to read them out loud. Even if the letters make a bizarre collection of non-words, or a funny phrase about blueberry pie, or even a compliment to the kid who picked such a funny book.
6. “Creepy Pair of Underwear” by Aaron Reynolds
Recommended for ages 4–8
This book presents the unexpected tale of a pair of underwear — that a bunny just can’t seem to shake. These undies keep popping up again and again, no matter how hard he tries to get rid of them.
While the idea of an inanimate object returning on its own is taken straight out of a horror movie, this premise is reworked in such a funny, kid-friendly way that all the terror has been removed, leaving only hilarity behind.
7. “Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea” by Ben Clanton
Recommended for ages 6–9
This book is full of innocent, good old-fashioned humor. Any age and family can find enjoyment in these light-hearted pages of friendship, silliness and, most importantly, waffles.
Read this as a family or allow kids to explore it independently. Although it’s the size of a small graphic novel, there are very few words on each page and the vocabulary can mostly be decoded using picture clues.
8. “InvestiGators” by John Patrick Green
Recommended for ages 7–9
Unlike some of the other books on this list, this series is all about wordplay. We find these books are a great way to introduce younger readers to the ins and outs of making jokes. Around this age, you might find your kid asking why a joke is funny. The ample puns on every page give you a thousand chances to explain just why a Crackerdile is a hilarious name for a crocodile turned cracker during a freak baking accident.
More reading fun with kids: