There’s nothing better to encourage young readers than funny kids books. A humorous children’s book can help reluctant readers engage with a silly tale on a language and story level. This list of the best funny children’s picture books, chapter books, and middle grade books has something for everyone, from hilarious poetry to laugh-out-loud short stories and amusing novel-length adventures.
Funny Kids’ Books: Picture Books
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Looking for funny children’s books to read aloud? True to its name, The Book with No Pictures is a picture book without pictures. Novak’s book makes for a refreshingly innovative reading experience that subverts conventions all with a sense of humor kids and parents alike will enjoy.
Everybody Poops by Taro Gomi
Parents helping kids through the potty training stage will welcome this hilarious picture book to help open the conversation. A classic, Everybody Poops is boldly honest with children about the ins and outs of Number Two. Giggles guaranteed!
Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza
In this silly circular picture book, a red hat travels from place to place as the wildlife in the area try to claim the object. Of interest especially for pre-K and kindergarten readers, this funny book begs for rereads as each time kids will notice something new in Keiko Kasza’s clever story and amazing illustrations.
Frederico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez and Elisa Chavarri
In this Mexican American adaptation of the beloved fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood,” a young boy travels to see his grandfather and encounters a mischievous el lobo. With bright colors, playful writing, and a spicy touch to the story, Frederico and the Wolf is your kids’ next favorite funny picture book.
Fussy Flamingo by Shelley Vaughan James and Matthew Rivera
Do you have a picky eater in your house? If so, Fussy Flamingo is the perfect anecdote. Lola the flamingo doesn’t want to eat traditional flamingo food like shrimp. Her excursions into trying other cuisines leads to humorous effects. Parents looking to get their kids past the fussy eating stage will welcome this bust-a-gut picture book.
I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt
Frog would give anything to be something else, much to the chagrin of his weary father. When a wolf with a hearty appetite and no taste for frogs shows up, Frog decides maybe it’s better to embrace who he is. Readers and parents will get a kick out of this story about loving who you are.
It’s All About Me-Ow by Hudson Talbott
Buddy, a wise old cat, teaches a few kittens the ropes on how to manage the humans in the house. With extra information about cat anatomy and cat history across time, this funny feline picture book is educational, too.
Let Me Finish! by Minh Lê and Isabel Roxas
A fun bedtime picture book, Let Me Finish! stars a kid who just can’t sit down to read and relax without an animal interrupting his concentration and threatening to spoil the book. Author Minh Lê has added a metafictional twist to this story that kids will want to read and reread for its wit and wonder.
Octopus Stew by Eric Velásquez
In this beautiful, visually stunning book with twin storylines, Ramsey tries to rescue his abuela when the octopus she is cooking comes to life and traps her. Kids will enjoy this lively, diverse story and appreciate its humorous tone in telling an absurdist tale.
Princess Puffybottom …and Darryl by Susin Nielsen and Olivia Chin Mueller
Princess Puffybottom is a pampered house cat who soaks up love and kindness from her human, until a spunky dog named Darryl moves in an upends her world to amusing effect. Kids adjusting to newcomers in their family will get much to like about this story in which two furry creatures develop an unlikely friendship.
Funny Kids’ Books: Chapter Books and Middle Grade
Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin and Kevin Cornell
Four chickens band together on laughable adventures in these chapter books for emerging readers. Start with The First Misadventure, the series opener, in which the Chicken Squad try to solve a mystery that’s out of this world. Kevin Cornell’s whimsical illustrations add to the humor in these stories.
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo and K. G. Campbell
Add Flora and Ulysses to your funny books for 5th graders list. This Newbery Medal winner is a funny friendship story. Comic book lover Flora is a precocious child captivated by tales of epic superheroes. When a squirrel has a bad run-in with a vacuum cleaner, Flora renames him Ulysses and helps him manage his newfound super powers. DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses is a witty and wonderful tale for middle grade readers.
Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. Edited by Betsy Bird
In between novels? Mix things up and try this short story collection edited by Betsy Bird. The subject of Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. is humorous tales for girls in the middle grade age range. With contributions from all-star authors like Rita Williams-Garcia, Raina Telgemeier, and Libba Bray, this unmissable anthology is a good fit for girls who want a refreshing mode of storytelling.
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and Lane Smith
With a definite echo of Shel Silverstein’s whimsy and wit, Chris Harris is a modern master of children’s verse. I’m Just No Good at Rhyming is a clever collection of side-splitting poems to read and reread and reread again. Harris’s poetry is subversive and cheeky and definitely a great choice for reluctant readers or kids struggling to connect with prose.
The Jolly Regina by Kara LaReau and Jen Hill
The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters series kicks off with The Jolly Regina. This charming middle grade series is perfect for children who enjoy intellectually stimulating stories with a definite dash of adventure, like the Mysterious Benedict Society books. In The Jolly Regina, the two Bland sisters, who go out of their way to avoid excitement, are kidnapped by an all-female pirate crew. This swashbuckling high-seas adventure is both engrossing and amusing.
Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin
This diverse funny chapter book series featuring Ling and Ting, two identical twin sisters, kicks off with Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! Grace Lin’s beloved Ling & Ting books start with the sisters trying to differentiate each other from people who keep mixing them up. Kids will enjoy this humorous siblings series that’s ideal for beginning readers.
The Midnight Gang by David Walliams and Tony Ross
When people ask me for authors like Roald Dahl, I always recommend British author David Walliams, a prolific children’s writer who has a Dahl-esque sense of humor and a flair for penning books you can’t put down. Get started with Walliams with The Midnight Gang, a funny tale about a group of children residents at a hospital and the hijinks they get up to at night. Walliams’s books are always lavishly illustrated and play with text in engaging ways that will have your kids glued to the page.
Moo by Sharon Creech
From award-winning writer Sharon Creech comes Moo, a mirthful tale about Reena and her little brother, Luke, who move to Maine and get involved in caring for their neighbor’s farm animals. As Reena struggles to fit in, she forms an unlikely friendship with stubborn Zora, a cow. Readers will appreciate Reena’s journey and the quirky residents of her new hometown. Written as a mix of poetry and prose, Moo is a light-hearted novel for reluctant readers who like a variety in style.
Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell
Rachel Renée Russell’s bestselling Dork Diaries series starts with the first book, Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life. These funny books for 3rd graders are perfect for fans of the Wimpy Kid books. Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life introduces the heroine, nerdy Nikki Maxwell. In humorous slice-of-life vignettes, Nikki makes new friends, develops a crush, and clashes with her family. Readers will love the blend of illustration and prose in this mega-popular series they’ll want to marathon read.
Wannabe Farms by Brian McCann and Meghan Lands
Acclaimed Emmy Award–winning TV comedy writer Brian McCann has crafted a comedic tale told in rhyming verse. The animals at Wannabe Farms all aspire for a more exciting life, which leads them to undertake hysterical adventures that link together in this knee-slapper for any kid who loves silly stories.
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