I decided to pull from my favorite line up of FUNNY picture books. We all need a good laugh, and kids appreciate humor so much. Now, the stories have so much more to offer than just a few laughs. All the books I have chosen spark conversations that are anything but silly and light. Check out a few of them and you will see what I mean.
WARNING: This list is in no particular order! They all crack me up equally and in different ways.
Necks Out for Adventure! Written and illustrated by the fabulous Timothy Basil Ering. You might recognize his art from The Tale of Despereaux. Here we have a clam as a main character. Enough said. I like to read this one early in the year because it leads to discussion of risk taking.
Bink & Gollie, written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile. Add here that the second B&G is also a fave. As a fourth grade teacher I can surely say that this book is a winner at read aloud time. These two characters are perfect opposites and yet perfect friends. Great vocab extensions.
I Want My Hat Back, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Okay, if you haven't seen this book yet you are in for a MAJOR treat! Minimal text, basic illustrations, maximum fun. I have the next one on pre-order, looks funny~
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book? Written and illustrated by the cheeky Lauren Child. I am a huge Lauren Child fan, and if you're not, this book might just do the trick! What happens when a naughty little boy falls asleep and turns up in his fairy tale book...the one he has, say, drawn little mustaches throughout? Well, he finds himself face to face with some very unhappy characters!
Let's Do Nohting! Written and illustrated by Tony Fucile. Can these two boys "do nothing?" One can't, his imagination is far too active! Kids have loved the idea of the book as well as the hilarious illustrations.
Skippy Jon Jones, written and illustrated by Judy Schachner. This book has been a love of mine since the day my mother took a copy out of her classroom library to add to my up and coming classroom library. But before she would release it from her grip she made me solemnly swear something. That I would read it in my very best Spanish accent. I swore. And if you aren't ready to be muy, muy silly, play the audio version, it's read by the author!
I Love My New Toy! Written and illustrated by the genius: Mo Willems. Really, all the P&E books are a must for a classroom library. A kindergarten teacher friend of mine was telling me how she uses these books to teach lessons on friendship and sharing, etc. And I thought...Hey! I have the same discussions with my 3rd and 4th grade students. So, I checked the books out and don't know how I got by without them!
It's a Book, written and illustrated by Lane Smith. Ok, so you might not be able to read this one out loud to the kiddos. I have read it to past students that are in 6th grade because the ending won't be too much for them...curious now? It's hilarious. I also have read it as a read aloud to my teaching team. A great book to read when technology seems to be taking too much of center stage.
Interrupting Chicken, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. Ever had a listener that interrupts your read alouds? Me either. Oh well, someone will relate to this book.
Like every teacher and librarian everywhere! But isn't it great?! They are so into the story that they can't contain themselves. It's great...sometimes. Kids have a lot of fun with this one, and it might lead to talk around sharing stories and being a respectful contributor to discussions.
Sipping Spiders Through a Straw: Campfire Songs for Monsters, written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Gris Grimly. This resides in my poetry book shelf, and isn't one I read aloud to the class. I have had great success in getting some of my guys reading with expression and practicing for fluency by using these grisly poems. The illustrations are the kicker, nasty! Each poem/song follows the tune of a (mostly) familiar song. Like: Oh My Darling, Clementine = Oh My Darling, Frankenstein.
Whew! What fun it was to create this list. Hope you found it fun too. Remember that no matter how great a book is, it is the reader that brings true joy to their audience by giving a memorable performance. So, practice first, and perfect those voices!
Share some of your favorite funny picture books with me. I can never have too many!