Growing Reader

5 Legitimately Funny Books to Read Aloud with Your Kids

by Tom Burns

Photo credit: Blend Images - REB Images, Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

How many kids’ books have ever made you straight up LOL?

I can’t count all the great children’s books that have made me smile or even tear up over the years, but I could easily count with just a few fingers the titles that have almost made me shoot milk out of my nose.

If you’re looking to share a few belly laughs while reading with your young ones, here are five great kids’ books that really know how to bring the funny.

  • The Book with No Pictures

    by B.J. Novak

    Before you ask, yes, there really are no pictures in this kids’ book. The author, B.J. Novak from "The Office," admits upfront that a book with no pictures might seem “boring” and “serious,” but he quickly reveals how much power words actually have. “Here is how books work,” he tells us, “Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say.” And Novak has a lot of fun making the reader do just that, writing lines like “Ba-Dooongy Face!” and “I am a monkey who taught myself to read.” It’s a genius concept and your kids will love watching you submit to the book’s fiendishly funny whims.

  • Have I Got a Book for You!

    by Mélanie Wat

    The creator of Scaredy Squirrel introduces you to Al Foxword, a swarthy salesman who will do anything, ANYTHING to get you to buy his book. As Al trots out every cheesy sales trick there is, you can feel yourself falling into your best used car salesman impression, making for an extremely fun bedtime reading performance. (The book also ends with one of the most surprising picture book gimmicks I’ve ever seen. Just remember -- you broke it, you bought it.)

  • The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country!

    by Lane Smith

    This clever riff on the classic Dick and Jane primers is like a comedy master class for kids. Lane Smith sets up a familiar children’s book premise – a nuclear family moves to the country – and gleefully smashes it by making his characters surprisingly sarcastic and self-aware. When I first read this book with my daughter, she looked up at me halfway through, gave me a sly smile, and said, “I see what they’re doing here.”

  • I’m Bored

    by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

    Comedian Michael Ian Black, best known from "The State" and "Wet Hot American Summer," mines a whole lot of humor out of forcing a child to confront the age-old kid mantra, “I’m bored.” A bored little girl is delighted to meet a talking potato until the equally-underwhelmed spud declares, “Kids are boring.” So the little girl decides to change his mind. A hilarious testament to the power of reverse psychology.

  • Interrupting Chicken

    by David Ezra Stein

    This book, all about bedtime reading, might actually be too funny to read at bedtime. A little chicken wants her daddy to read her a bedtime story, but she can’t stand to watch her beloved fairy tale characters make mistakes. So she interrupts and interrupts and interrupts – all in an attempt to rewrite her favorite stories. Stein’s book shows kids that being an active participant in storytelling can be both exciting and very, very funny.


  • Adel Zeller

    Don’t forget Jon Scieszka’s Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales!

  • Christine

    I agree with Adel. And “The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups” is funny too. My nine year old loves those two books!

  • Tom B.

    Stinky Cheese Man is a BIG favorite in our house. Actually, Jon Scieszka has a really funny picture book “Cowboy & Octopus” that I LOVE to read with my daughter. It’s like an absurdist George & Martha.

  • Mandy Bryant

    The Monster at the End of this Book… is another one. Might be our funny Grover voices too when we read it but my boys are 3&4 and they love it.

  • Erin Book

    Don’t Read This Book is one of my son’s all time favourites!

  • Angela McGee Germany

    Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly is a laugh out loud funny book. There are times I’m tearing up and can’t read for a few moments because I’m laughing so hard.