Do your kids have a case of the back-to-school blues? Cold winter weather bringing you down? Now may be the perfect time to cheer up with a laugh out loud book. These quality books are not only clever and well written, but are just downright funny!
AGES 3 AND UP:
1- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. Parents and kids can’t help but dialogue with the pigeon when he begs to drive the bus. If you can’t always say no to your child, say no to the pigeon!
2- There’s A Monster at the End of this Book (Sesame Street) by Jon Stone. Grover is a monster who’s afraid of the monster at the end of the book. He tries everything to prevent kids from turning the pages, even building brick a wall to hold the page down. “Please don’t turn the page!” he begs. One of my favourite books as a kid, it continues to make kids laugh out loud today.
AGES 6 AND UP
1- You’re A Bad Man, Mr. Gum! by Andy Stanton. Mr. Gum is a stinky, gross man who is mean to children. Lucky for the town of Lamonic Bibber, an angel whacks him on the head with a frying pan every time he neglects his garden. A cast of odd characters and questionable heroes round out this zany, laugh out loud book. Many odd illustrations, including dirty fingerprints on the pages, make this chapter accessible to younger readers. Check the other books in this series too, since they are all witty and giggle-inducing.
2- Dot in Larryland: The Big Little Book of an Odd-Sized Friendship by Patricia Marx. Written by a former Saturday Night Live writer, this book explores the world through the eyes of a tiny dot and a giant. Both Larry and Dot face serious challenges when it comes to finding friends. Dot easily gets trapped in a pepper shaker, and Larry is too large to play hopscotch. Zany drawings with bubble-comments, made up words, and quirky rhymes make this an intelligent and very funny read.
AGES 9 AND UP
1- Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. “If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book,” cautions Snicket. Indeed, very bad things happen to the Baudelaire children, but “Snicket’s” tongue-in-cheek mock-gothic style make for some laugh out loud moments. Kids appreciate this author’s respect for their intelligence, and delight in the clever play on words throughout the book.
2- The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter. My daughter picked this randomly from the library, and couldn’t put it down. “Welcome to My Tweendom” ranked it among the top 5 tween books of 2010. On the surface, the story is a gothic thriller full of action and plot twists. Extremely clever and well-written, this book also exudes much wit and sarcasm expressed through the very quirky Hardscrabble children. A review from Booklist on Amazon described it as, “Hilarious and heartbreaking, wild and down-to earth…The combination of fantasy and realism makes a compelling story and young people will relate easily to the characters’ struggles.” This cross-genre book combines humour with fantasy and reality, and is a perfect pick for a parent-tween book club.
I hope you enjoy some laughs over these books. What are some of your favourite laugh out loud books?