Skip to content

LOL Books

Illustration by Julie Kim from Where's Halmoni?

Recently, I was working in the children’s room of a public library when a young patron approached the desk. They were planning to read a book to their siblings’ third grade class and wanted some recommendations. Great, I thought, here’s my chance to suggest some diverse books.

Then they said they wanted a funny book. Okay, I thought, I know a great funny book. “Here’s a really funny and fun book, Where’s Halmoni? My kids laughed out loud at this book.”

The patron looked at the book and thought it would be too long for a read aloud. (But kept it for themselves).


After this, I drew a blank. All the funny books that I could think of in the moment had animal characters: We Found A Hat or Giraffe Problems or Chu’s Day at the Beach. So they picked up these books, sat down to read them and choose one, and I went back to my desk a bit disappointed in myself.

An easy, ready laugh is a quintessential part of childhood.

All kids want to read funny books, so it’s important that funny books feature all kids. I decided to make myself a list for future use. Searching online for funny picture books, I found that most of the titles on these lists had animal characters, not people, but I did find some books that met DBF criteria for our collection. I took them home for the test: Would my kids find them funny?

Here are the ones they liked the most, with the parts they thought were most comical: 

NIÑO WRESTLES THE WORLD  - The sisters' antics are so funny because they are so commonplace and terrible. The fight cards on the pastedown were also especially funny.

CHICKEN-CHASING QUEEN OF LAMAR COUNTY - My kids loved the part when the main character and the chicken are giving each other the side eye and measuring each other up, and then the main character jumps out to try and grab her. 

WALRUS IN THE BATHTUB - My kids thought it was so funny that the little sister in this book was consistently depicted as having a ball even when the walrus was causing all kinds of trouble for the family. 

Walrus in the bathtub

2018

by Deborah Underwood and Matt Hunt

"When a family finds a walrus in the bathtub of their new house, it's the worst thing ever--or is it?"--|cProvided by publisher

Incidental

BOB NOT BOB! - This book was difficult for me to read with the right pronunciation, but it’s hilarious when the main character is trying to explain to his sister how he feels and she asks, “Who is Hodden and Smetty?”

HOW TO GIVE YOUR CAT A BATH IN FIVE EASY STEPS - My kids would laugh every time a new step was added to the ever growing list.

How to Give Your Cat a Bath

2019

by Nicola Winstanley and John Martz

"In this hilarious and clever “how-to,” a little girl and a know-it-all narrator are thwarted by a cat who refuses to take a bath. The perfect read-aloud for fans of Snappsy the Alligator and Interrupting Chicken. Step one: fill the bath; Step two: put the cat in the bath; Step three: put shampoo on the cat; Step four: rinse the cat; Step five: dry the cat. Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath—it’s the whole house! This spoof on an instruction manual features an increasingly bewildered human, a nonchalant cat and a know-it-all narrator…who really doesn’t know it all. How DO you give a cat a bath? Read on to find out!" -- publisher

Any Child

THE BIG BED - This negotiating kid’s logic about her rightful place on the big bed was funny for both me and the kids. 

SWASHBY AND THE SEA - The way the sea fiddled with Swashby's words always made my kids laugh. They even attempted to play with the sea in this way when we went to the beach.

Swashby and the Sea

2020

by Beth Ferry and Juana Martinez-Neal

"From New York Times best-selling author Beth Ferry and Caldecott Honor winner Juana Martinez-Neal comes a sweet-and-salty friendship story perfect for pirate-lovers learning new ways to communicate while at a distance. This hilarious picture book will keep emerging readers laughing, and the message-related mishaps in the story create an opportunity for spelling and sounding out new words while learning from home! Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene. One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them. When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?" -- publisher

Any Child Cross Group

HARRIET GETS CARRIED AWAY - The absurdity of the story had my kids’ laughter crescendoing with each page. 

LITTLE RED AND THE VERY HUNGRY LION - Not only is Little Red in this story smart, but the way she outsmarts the lion is uproariously funny. Especially the braids. 

MONSTER TROUBLE - Who doesn’t want to imagine that a kiss is all it takes to scare monsters away?

Many of the cover images on this site are from Google Books.
Using Tiny Framework Log in