I hope you have all been enjoying our summer reading program. I know my kids have! If you have missed any of my previous book posts, check them out! Forgotten Newberys for Girls, What Boys Really Want to Read this Summer, and Books that Take You on an Enchanted Journey.
These lists are chock full of fantastic summer or anytime reads, but I wanted to give you all some suggestions that might bring a little more fun to your summer reading regimen. Books that make us laugh are doubly delightful. We laugh as we read them, and the characters with their stories often become part of our family culture. Inside jokes, memories of reading the books together (such as when dad squirted milk through his nose because he was laughing so hard), and nicknames for each other make this genre of books worth seeking out.
Enjoy a few of our favorites! Be sure to try some of these as read-a-louds. They are sometimes even funnier that way!
Ball by Mary Sullivan – For the young and old alike, this one word picture book is sure to get you smiling! Follow a dog through his dreams as he chases his favorite toy.
Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella by Tony Johnston – This hilarious funny twist on the classic Cinderella story is a big favorite at our house. Rrrella’s berry godfather helps her win her prince with huge wooden clogs. Just like the original Cinderella, but smellier, and funnier.
Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems – For an early reader book, these are surprisingly enjoyable for adults! I love books with classic, slapstick, cleaver and even sarcastic humor. We have read several of these books and haven’t hit a dull one yet. Two of our favorites are, Pigs Make Me Sneeze, and I Will Surprise My Friend.
The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems – Mo Willems has quite the talent for creating funny and memorable characters. We read The Pigeon Needs a Bath together and my son was just beside himself. Perhaps because he can identify with the pigeon who does not want a bath but enjoys it once he gets in. Be sure to check out the other Pigeon books as well.
The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson – No list of funny books would be complete without Hank. A well meaning cowdog and his trusty sidekick get themselves into all kinds of trouble and misunderstandings. The audio is read by the author and also very well done.
Matilda by Roald Dahl – The great thing about humorous books is that they get better as you get older. I handed Matilda to my daughter last summer and she gave it back with a grimace. “The parents are so mean in this book!” This year, she was old enough to understand the absurdities and loved it. My favorite Roald Dahl book of all time! Another good one is Boy, Tales of Childhood.
The Adventures of Sir Givret the Short by Gerald Morris – King Arthur Fans will adore this book. Sir Givret is short but he is wittier than all the knights of the round table. I love the dry British style humor. Even the insults are well placed and clever. To be sure there is also adventure and quests, but they are all funny in the end. Think Monty Python for kids.
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne – Save this book for the eight and up crowd. When I tried to read it to my pre-schoolers I found myself explaining all the humor. I ended up putting it away until this summer. Now that I have a seven and eight year old, I no longer had to explain the jokes, just enjoy the laughter. A great summer read aloud, especially if you do voices.
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond – Just like Winnie the Pooh the humor in this book is most easily caught by children eight and up. We have just begun this as a read aloud at night, but it comes highly recommended. I am sure you will enjoy it.
Ms. Rapscott’s Girls by Elise Primavera – Both Ruth and I enjoyed this read. We read it separately, but we still joke every time we loose someone or something. “The first step to finding your way (or finding something), is to get lost (or lose it) on purpose.” Ms. Rapscott runs a school for girls of the very busiest parents. The story is funny because of some clever wording, but mostly because of the plot. It is absurd, the girls arrive in a box floating on the wind; and that is just the beginning. But yet, the part about having parents too busy to bother with their children is sometimes truer than we would like to admit.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren – Pippi is just plain fun. Don’t let the movies, which I find to be a bit weird, scare you off, this book is delightfully funny. Pippi is an extraordinary girl who moves in next to two ordinary children, Tommy and Anicka. While Tommy and Anicka try to help Pippi act more normal by taking her to school and inviting her to a coffee party, Pippi just can’t seem to fit in. But fitting in doesn’t chase off buglers or save small children from a burning building. Sometimes it is good not to fit in.
What about you? What are your favorite books to read when you need a good laugh?
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