Every library needs a great selection of funny books for kids. They can motivate even the most reluctant readers and introduce vocabulary and concepts in memorable ways. Belly laughing over books together is perfect for building community, and it makes read aloud fun for you, too! These 15 books are some of our favorites for getting kids and adults giggling.
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1. I Lost My Tooth! (Unlimited Squirrels) by Mo Willems (K–2)
With his signature exaggerated dialogue, Mo Willems introduces another comic cast for young readers. When Zoom Squirrel loses a tooth, the rest of the squirrels rush to his aid. Plenty of jokes and other bonus material will keep kids laughing for a long time.
2. It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton (K–2)
Desperate for mail, Liam writes to his mailbox and asks for something BIG. The mailbox “delivers” to a gut-busting degree. The fire-breathing dragon, French-speaking giant snail, jokester funny bone, “air whale,” and countless other items teach Liam a lesson in being careful about what you wish for—and, in the end, encourage generosity.
3. Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds (K–2)
When a young bunny convinces his mom to buy him a pair of creepy underwear that glow in the dark, he has no idea how persistently creepy they will be. Obviously, any book with the word “underwear” in the title will elicit chuckles right away. The real charm of this book, though, is in its bizarre surprises—and the sweetly funny ending.
4. Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins (K–2)
What’s a surefire way to get kids giggling? Tell them they MUST be quiet, of course. Rupert the mouse wants to create an artistic wordless book, but he can’t get his friends to stop talking! They’re determined to help him land on the right characters, and their attempts, along with Rupert’s growing frustration, yield a delightfully engaging (but not quiet) story after all.
5. Bob, Not Bob by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon (K–2)
There’s nothing funny about being sick—except when your stuffed-up nose makes it sound like you’re calling your dog, Bob, when you really want your mom! Poor Louie’s struggle to be understood while he has a cold is the perfect germ-free way to inject a little fun into sniffle season!
6. Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door by Adam Rubin (K–3)
Old man Fookwire spends his time shaking his old-man fist at the relentless squirrels who infringe on his solitary existence. When a new neighbor’s cat gives the squirrels a taste of their own medicine, they launch a hilariously crafted plan. The entire series of events will have everyone chortling for sure—even, in the end, the curmudgeonly Fookwire.
7. Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!) by Julie Falatko (K–3)
Alligators often get a bad rap in stories, but this one is just running to the grocery store when the narrator began blowing his every move out of proportion. The banter between characters is smart and funny picture-book writing at its best.
8. Penguin Problems by Jory John (K–3)
Mortimer the penguin has a long list of woes: His beak is cold, the ocean smells too salty, he feels silly when he waddles, and so on. With perfectly deadpan humor, the story conveys an important message, as shared by a wise walrus: It’s always better to look on the bright side and appreciate what you have.
9. Giraffe Problems by Jory John (K–3)
Edward the giraffe is seriously embarrassed about his neck. He’s tried every possible strategy to disguise it, and it’s still so …”necky.” An encounter with a tortoise (who has neck anxiety of his own) changes Edward’s perspective. Enjoyable on multiple levels, just like Penguin Problems, this author-illustrator team delivers an important lesson on self-love in a clever package.
10. Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (Narwhal and Jelly #1) by Ben Clanton (1–3)
You can’t help but smile at Narwhal’s enthusiasm in this graphic-novel-series opener about new friendship—he’s just so darn cheerful all the time. Plenty of quirky details will make students chuckle, like Narwhal’s invitations to a mishmash of sea creatures to join his “pod of awesomeness” (and the cute horns he awards to each new member), or his and Jelly’s unlikely shared love of waffles.
11. Gimme Shelter: Misadventures and Misinformation (Chicken Squad #5) by Doreen Cronin (1–3)
This shrewdly funny series is a perennial favorite of both kids and adults for its mix of slapstick and deadpan humor. The ever-prepared Chicken Squad decides they need a storm shelter and set about digging one. When they unearth what they believe to be a dinosaur bone, plenty of comic confusion follows.
12. The 91-Story Treehouse (Treehouse #7) by Andy Griffiths (2–5)
This series about an ever-expanding treehouse decked out with every imaginable feature possible is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. This installment takes the funny stuff to a new level when Andy and Terry face their biggest challenge yet: babysitting!
13. Max and the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce (3–6)
Fast-paced and witty, this graphic novel stars Max, a wannabe knight and her band of buddies. Run-ins with a sorceress, wizards, dragons, and plenty more exaggerated action keep readers interested, and the plentiful quips keep them laughing, too.
14. The Terrible Two (Terrible Two #1) by Mac Barnett (3–6)
What’s even funnier than playing hilarious pranks? Living vicariously through prankster book characters. Miles Murphy is sure he’ll be the top practical joker at his new school—until he meets the reigning champ, Niles. This series opener boasts sharp writing and quirky characterization in a kid-approved, hilarious package.
15. Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland #1) by Chris Grabenstein (4–6)
In this offering from a favorite middle grade author, P.T. Wilkie and his friend Gloria try to save his family’s Wonderland motel—a kid’s paradise—from financial ruin. Readers will be cheering them on as they laugh at P.T.’s tendency to “embellish” stories, the pair’s crazy moneymaking strategies and their wild attempts to solve an unexpected mystery that crops up.