Booklist: LOL Books to Laugh Out Loud with Your Children
The day before I went to see the grandgirls, I was in the bookstore and saw a picture book with a funny cover that was on sale. Of course, I just had to buy it!
It was one of the best things I have ever bought in my life. I was on the second or third re-read of Mother Bruce with granddaughter #1 , who is currently age 2, when my son sat down near us. He chuckled along, then laughed out loud when we got to the page “He liked to support local business, you see.” My daughter in-law came into the room when we got to the section “Bruce was very stern and said things like ‘Go away!’ And ‘I am not your mother!’ And also ‘I liked you better when you were eggs’” and she blurted out “What are you reading?” with the most incredulous look on her face that my son and I broke out in chuckles; context is everything. Granddaugher #1, of course, was not impressed that there was an interruption to her story time. That weekend we read Mother Bruce at least a half dozen more times. Since then, my husband has taken the book into work to show his colleague who also has grandchildren, who also loved it. Spread the joy, spread the laughter!
Laughing out loud with your kids is a good thing. Research shows that laughter and humor connects with cognitive and language development as well as positive social/emotional growth.
In order to get a joke or see something as humorous, a person has to have an understanding of cause and effect. More complicated forms of humor require abstract thinking with an ability to use symbols or substitutions of one thing for another or knowing when one thing does not belong within a set (as the old Sesame Street song goes “one of these things is not like the other…). Laughter is a solid way of knowing that your child has a growing awareness of situations around them and can perform simple analysis by categorizing a scenario as funny. So, reading and laughing with your child is time to be enjoyed and encouraged.
Before Shared Reading
When you introduce the book, note the title, author, illustrator, and say that this should be a fun story or funny book. Comment on any cover art that gives clues on story plot or what your child might find funny.
During Shared Reading
Point out plot points, phrases, or illustrations that provide humor clues by noting that something is silly or funny. Note expressions on characters’ faces that show how they feel and ask your child to describe those feelings.
After Shared Reading
Ask your child what they thought was the funniest parts of the story or pictures and what makes those pieces funny. During re-reads build vocabulary by labeling those funny parts as silly, ridiculous, quirky, witty, amusing or droll as alternative words for funny. For older children try some symbolic substitution, would they still think the scene was funny if it happened to them.
Booklist: LOL Laugh Out Loud Books for Infants and Toddlers
Words and Pictures by Sandra Boynton
Board Book Ages Infants & Toddlers
Turkey makes this introduction to colors and getting dressed an adventure with his silly antics. Also, purple socks!
Words and Pictures by Mo Willems
Picture Book, First in a Series Ages 2 – 6
Caldecott Honor Book
Pigeon tries to beg and whine his way with the reader, but the bus driver said, “Don’t let Pigeon Drive the Bus!” Son #3 adored Pigeon (perhaps because they were so alike?) Will be a family favorite! Also see Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny trilogy.
Booklist: LOL Laugh Out Loud Picture Books for Shared Reading with Children
Words and Pictures by Ryan T. Higgins
Picture Book Ages 4 – 8
E. B. White Read Aloud Winner and Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, New Illustration Honor
Bruce, a solitary and grumpy bear, is faced with hard work and challenging choices when a case of mistaken identity turns his fancy breakfast into gosling fosterlings. What’s a bear to do when his geese won’t migrate?
Words by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick
Pictures by Matt Cordell
Picture Book Ages 4 – 8
We’ve all been there, when you have a cold you sound like a muppet. This books plays on the frustration of trying to pronounce your words correctly with a stuffy nose, but it’s all ok when you have a Bob (pet dog) and a not Bob (mom) to help you when you feel sick. Remember as the cover states this book is “to be read as though you have the worst cold ever.”
Words and Pictures by Ross Burach
Picture Book, Ages 4 – 8
A twist on the typical first day of school story, here is Giraffe’s first day in the jungle. Why does everyone think he’s a chair? How is Giraffe going to clear up this confusion?
Words and Pictures by Nikki Slade Robinson
Picture Book Ages 4 – 8
Muddle the duck and Mo the goat are both friends. Mo helps Muddle figure out their differences when Muddle doesn’t understand that Mo is not a duck too.
Words by Mac Barnett, Pictures by Adam Rex
Picture Book Ages 4 – 8
Expect the unexpected, this is not your typical guessing game. Each rhyming riddle sets the reader to guess the answer, but the illustrations provide a misleading clue to a totally random and clever reveal.
Words and Pictures by Jan Thomas
Picture Book Ages 3 – 8
Three cows invade chicken’s sofa with jumping, dancing and wiggling. Kids will want to join the cows in their fun and pretend to be cows too, while the grown-up reader came sympathize and give voice to the exasperated chicken.; an easy book to dramatize while reading.
Words by Juliette MacIver
Pictures by Sarah Davis
Picture Books Ages 4 – 8
A class field trips gets turned upside down, when the hippopotamus goes missing.
Booklist: LOL Laugh and Read Aloud Chapter Books for Elementary and Middle Schoolers
Similar to the escalating hilarity found in Dr Seuss’ And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, this story builds as a dad explains to his kids in great zany detail, why it took him so long to fetch some milk for the breakfast cereal. The ultimate book to showcase “Dad Humor” with this dad’s improbable adventures.
Vivian Vande Velde
Twitch the squirrel get chased into the school by Cuddles the principal’s dog, now the school pets are on a rescue mission to save Twitch.
James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Part 1 of a Series
Jamie Grimm is on a quest to become a comedian and entering The Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic is a step towards his goal; but his journey is filled with both comedy and drama, because hey, this is a middle school story.
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The world is suppose to end on Saturday, but where is the Antichrist? A bookish angel and a demon with car issues team up to save the planet.
The title says it all and the 1987 PG movie adaptation is a rare gem since it is just as good maybe even better than the book, both are classics.
Mort, slightly inept but with a good heart, becomes the apprentice to Death, yes, that Death, the one with the horse and scythe. A great introduction to the madcap and marvelous Discworld series.
For other fun reads, also see
Recommend your favorite LOL Laugh Out Loud funny books here