Ginger has trouble seeing a book and not finding out what's inside. She is thankful for the kids in her life that justify this action.
Our Family's Favorite Funny Picture Books
I adore books that teach character building lessons or that teach little ones the beauty of other cultures. But this list of books does not have any of those. Why? Because sometimes you have to help kids love to read before you can introduce the more refined books to them. I have one child who hates reading, and she can smell a book-with-a-moral from a mile away. So we bring out the funny books. And though she pretends differently, she can't resist them.
These books are approved not only by my book-hating child, but also by our two book-lovers, a variety of foster kids, nieces, nephews, and neighbors at all points on the scale. If your kids don't enjoy these, please let me know, and I will make it my mission to find more!
Possibly in the future, I will share my list of classic kids books that have been well-loved throughout the generations. And I also have a list of books that are character building. You know, the ones that parents, teachers, and grandparents endorse. But this list is filled with books that are:
- simply entertaining.
- not the annoying kind that will make you want to secretly donate them.
- relatively new. They all post-date my childhood years :)
1. The Knuffle Bunny Series by Mo Willems
Oh my heavens these books are adorable. Trixie LOVES her stuffed bunny. Her dad knows this, but doesn't quite understand the level of adoration. If you are a real parent, I'm guessing you'll be able to relate to these books. And I'm certain your kids will be able to relate! I cried during the 3rd one.
Side note: Anything and everything by Mo Willems is gold. We love his Elephant and Piggy books and the Pigeon books are delightful and definitely don't miss the one about the naked mole rat. He also hosted several weeks of "Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems" that can be found on YouTube. These are bite-sized drawing sessions. Mr. Willems is the perfect mix of Mr. Rogers meets Bob Ross.
2. Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin
Poor Old Man Fookwire. He loves everything about birds, but the squirrels cause him grief. So. Much. Grief. I predict that by the end of this book you will love all of the characters so much that you will run out and buy the next two books in the series.
I couldn't decide between this squirrel series or another of Rubin's series that we love: Dragons Love Tacos. I see lots of ads for the dragon series, so I went with the lesser known one. Anything by Rubin is sure to entertain!
3. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
Sam and Dave are digging to find "something spectacular," and that's what this book is. Once you start reading it you will not be able to stop before the end. It's that intriguing.
Another side note: I have one kiddo on the autism spectrum, and this book was painful for him to read, but the rest of us think it is hilarious.
4. Suddenly by Colin McNaughton
You know a book is a keeper when the big kids chose it to read to the little kids. Suddenly is a favorite. Will innocent Preston actually make it home after school today? Or will the wolf finally get him? You'll laugh. And you'll wish you were as creative as Mr. McNaughton.
5. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
This book was a delightful surprise to me. It is filled with slap-stick humor that my boys just eat up. But the ending made even me snort. And that is the best kind. I won't give it away. But you'll want to read it to find out if Floyd is ever able to get his red kite out of the tree.
I think by now most people know about Oliver Jeffers more popular books: The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home. The crayon books are incredibly imaginative. They make me want to be friends with Mr. Jeffers.
6. The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak
Clearly this one is not a "picture" book. But once you read it you will understand why it belongs in this category. If you are an adult who doesn't approve of acting child-like at times, don't bother with this one. Also, if you don't want to make your kids laugh, don't read it. Kids really can't get enough of it.
Just a note: If you don't use the word "butt" with your kids, there is a page in the book you will want to change. I call the hippo "Boo Boo Butter," and the kids don't know anything different.
7. Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
The main characters in these clever books are a stick and a stone. I really can't say it any better than the back of the first book: "Meet Stick and Stone. They stick up for each other, because friends rock!" Don't you want to know more??
8. Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee
Sibling dogs run into some trouble with a squirrel. And then they have trouble finding each other again. The kids love the story. I love the illustrations. If you check out Marla Frazee's Amazon bio, you'll see a bunch of other award-winning books also.
9. This Book Just Stole My Cat by Richard Byrne
The book is the villain in this story, and my kids can't get enough of it. Ben's cat has been stolen by the book. His cat's rescuers are abundant, but not super helpful. There is a series of these books, and they are just impressively creative.
10. Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey
This is a hilarious poem about a piranha who tries to convince his friends that bananas are good. We all laughed at this one. And Aaron Blabey gets bonus points for creating a picture book that beginning readers can read independently. Honestly, he's pretty talented at that. I'm guessing most first and second graders can read his Bad Guys chapter books independently. And if they're typical boys, they are sure to love those!
More Funny Picture Books
More is not always better. But I can't stop yet. If you don't know about these before your kids grow up, it would be a shame:
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
A sneaky little fish-thief might not be as sneaky as he think he is. Oh please please read the others by Jon Klassen also!
We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
Adorable book about a little dinosaur who needs to learn how to avoid eating his friends.
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
A ridiculous book that your older children will LOVE to read to the younger ones. Poor George cannot seem to "speak" like a dog.
I will stop there. Please let me know your favorite funny picture books in the comments! Enjoy :)
© 2021 Ginger Burke
Ginger Burke (author) from Illinois on September 28, 2021:
Hi Jodah - thanks for your comment. I hadn't heard of any of these until recently either. I'm confident your grandkids would love them (unless they are teenagers who don't like anything
Ginger Burke (author) from Illinois on September 28, 2021:
Lol! Thanks for reading and commenting. Maybe I'll get to adult books at some point :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 28, 2021:
I'm going to take your word for it that these are great books. It's not my kind of reading, you know? lol Good to see you publishing and I look forward to your next.
John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 27, 2021:
Hi Ginger, I haven’t heard of any of these book unfortunately, but they sound wonderful. I know how much creativity it takes to write original children’s stories because I am a ghostwriter often hired to do just that. I am sure my grandkids would love these.