Joke books can be a teacher’s secret sauce for so many reasons. They can motivate reluctant readers, fill awkward transition times, build classroom community, and help teach vocabulary, content, and figures of speech in fun ways. Plus, anyone who’s ever sat through a round of little kids’ nonsensical original knock-knock jokes will appreciate some professionally written alternatives. We’ve sifted through the choices to let you know about ten standout joke collections sure to get students of all ages giggling.
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1. Get the Giggles: A First Joke Book illustrated by Bronwen Davies (pre-K–1)
The uncluttered layout of this title is perfect for newly minted joke readers: question on one page, answer on the reverse. The supportive illustrations are just right, too. Simple, classic quips like “What kind of dog can tell time? A watch dog!” never fail to evoke a chuckle.
2. Knock, Knock! Who’s There? by Tad Hills (pre-K–1)
Before he created lovable characters Duck and Goose and Rocket the Dog, Tad Hills gifted us this little classroom treasure. It introduces the knock-knock-joke structure, using wordplay with names. Clever flaps open to reveal the “knocker” in each spread, including “Olive … you so much” and “Luke … out below!”
3. My First Joke Book by Amanda Enright (pre-K–2)
Themed spreads include jokes about everything from monsters to mice, and they’re some of the cutest we’ve seen. (Why are elephants so wrinkly? Have you ever tried to iron an elephant?”) This is a great title where you can find seasonal or curriculum-themed jokes to spice up your morning message.
4. Lunchbox Jokes: Animals by Deana Gunn (K–3)
Part of a four-book series, we can see teachers loving this pocket-size book even though it’s aimed at parents. It includes 100 funny, vocabulary-driven gems meant to be torn out and folded into little joke cards. (“What kind of animal has to wear a wig? A bald eagle.”) Use them as student pick-me-ups or compliment cards, or get creative and laminate them as part of a literacy center activity.
5. Laugh Attack!: The BIGGEST, Best Joke Book EVER by Highlights (K–5)
Highlights has tons of joke books, but this one, as promised, is the heftiest. Kids can use the table of contents to head straight to the sections that match their interests—Funny Food, Dino Laughs, Hysterical History, and plenty more.
6. National Geographic Kids Just Joking LOL by National Geographic Kids (1–8)
The visual appeal of the titles in the Just Joking series is unparalleled. Jokes ARE funnier when presented in speech bubbles on photos of smiling wild animals. Heavy on the puns, break out this title when you study homophones. (What do you get if you deposit a skunk in your bank account? Dollars and scents.)
7. Roald Dahl Whoppsy-Wiffling Joke Book by Roald Dahl (2–6)
Classrooms that love classics from this timeless author will enjoy how the funnies are arranged on spreads linked to favorite titles. From Miss Trunchbull’s Banned School Jokes to BFG’s Giant Jokes, all our favorite Dahl books get their mention. The illustrations from Quentin Blake add to the fun.
Rob Elliott’s books are best sellers, and his jokes are reliably amusing. This collection includes his Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes, Animal Jokes, and Knock-Knock Jokes in one handy volume. No extra stuff, like illustrations or design elements here, just list after list of jokes.
9. The Jokiest Joking Joke Book Ever Written . . . No Joke!: 2,001 Brand-New Side-Splitters That Will Keep You Laughing Out Loud by Kathi Wagner (3 and up)
Many joke books repeat the same classic one-liners, but this collection gets points for originality. It’s filled with references to popular middle-grade topics—think zombies and video games.
10. Joke-Lopedia: The Biggest, Best, Silliest, Dumbest Joke Book Ever! by Eva Blank, Alison Benjamin, Roseanne Green, Ilana Weitzman, and Lisa Sparks (4 and up)
More than just a joke book, this is a really a deep dive into the world of comedy. Plenty of one-liners, “story” jokes, delivery tips, profiles of comics, like Ben Stiller and Will Smith, and definitions of key vocabulary give kids all they need to learn to be a stand-up star.
Which joke books have your students laughing out loud? We’d love to hear about them in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.