Nothing is more awkward than listening to kids tell jokes. But why am I qualified to gather joke books for kids? I teach elementary school and have kids who are right on the precipice of being preteens — old enough to know when the joke doesn’t land, but not old enough to have really mastered the art of landing it. These kids need to be reading something verbatim while their brand of humor is developing. You might think I sound callous or cold, but if you know, you know. Nothing is more awkward than listening to kids tell jokes.
I’m not a monster. I want to be patient and encouraging. I want to help them feel comfortable chatting and learn the cadence of a joke. I was in theater in school. I understand that some performers take a long time to come into their own and there is a lot of awkwardness (mine, okay?) that comes along the way. But this is why we need joke books for kids! The best way to learn a new skill is through modeling. Below I’ve compiled a bunch of joke books for kids. While these can support the budding comedians in your life, they also have the bonus feature of being a great draw for reluctant readers. You’ll find puns, knock knock jokes, and riddles to delight kids and give the adults a break from the game of trying to figure out where the punch line might be.
Only Kidding!: My First Book of Jewish Jokes by Sari Kopitnikoff
This title is full of silly jokes that bring the culture of Judaism to life. Kopitnikoff includes a glossary of terms to make the jokes pop, and cartoon illustrations to add to the hilarity.
Once a Pun a Time: A Guide to Reading and Telling Jokes for Kids by Wolf Cub Chlo
A joke book for kids WRITTEN by a kid? Yes please! This little author started creating her joke books while bored during quarantine. Definitely check her out!
The Biggest, Funniest, Wackiest, Grossest Joke Book Ever! by Editors of Portable Press and Jean Hwang
Nothing gets a child chuckling more than gross humor, and it’s sprinkled in among the scores of jokes in this book. Broken down into categories like family, animal, one liners, and puns, this book guarantees hours of fun.
The Big Riddle Book for Kids: Tricky Puzzles for Ages 6-9 by Mandisa Watts
Need a break from silly knee-slappers? This book of puzzles and riddles will bring triumphant smiles as kiddos and their adults solve their way through!
Would You Rather? Family Challenge! Edition: Hilarious Scenarios & Crazy Competition for Kids, Teens, and Adults by Lindsey Daly
This latest trend in kids’ humor is everywhere right now. Would You Rather books set up scenarios where people choose between two similar options. Fun enough as a conversation starter, the book can also be played as a game where contestants try to correctly guess which scenario their teammate would choose.
The Best Joke Book For Kids: Illustrated Silly Jokes For Ages 3-8 by Rather McSilly
Pick this one for your youngest budding comedians! Simple jokes and bright pictures help develop that punch line structure. Tons of giggles await!
The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids by Carole P. Roman
Once your kiddo has graduated from the basics, this engaging book is a great next step. Puns, riddles, and tounge twisters are presented alongside fun facts and illustrations. It even includes information on the basics of joke writing!
Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids by Whee Winn
Knock-knock jokes can be the trickiest for young jokesters to land. This book could potentially save you from little hours of repeating “orange who?”
Hopefully you’ve found something help the kiddos in your life work on their stand up set! Looking for more children’s humor? Check out this list of funny poems for kids! Happy joking!