I've been purposefully looking for funny picture books to read aloud to the boys these days. Sometimes you just need something to make you laugh, you know? I figure everyone could use a solid go-to list of funny books for kids so I'm rounding up a few of the boys' favorite books that make them laugh out loud.
These books will make everyone laugh, from preschoolers to big kids to grown ups. Most of them even made my husband, the most serious book reader all the land, smile. I would also like you to note the persistent presence of underpants (or the lack thereof) in this list. (Note: covers and titles are affiliate links.)
MORE: Reading chapter books? These are the funniest read aloud books we've read aloud; or see my entire list of (more than) 100 (!!!) funny chapter books for kids.
The Book with No Pictures. I was late to the game reading this book but it was certainly worth the wait. This book will make your kids laugh. Guaranteed.
For a while my son was OBSESSED with Naked! I am not exaggerating. We read it every night before bed for weeks. He also re-enacted the book several times a day -- whenever he found himself without any clothes on, actually. I must say, I loved seeing him get so involved with transferring his love of a story to "real" life! I can't imagine a child not liking this book. Is there any child who doesn't love running around in his birthday suit? I think not. Both the author and illustrated have perfectly captured the joy that comes with a cool breeze on one's bare backside.
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. I had no expectations and was quite unprepared for how hilarious it is. I don't even want to tell you the premise! All I will say is that, book loving parents with messy children will completely relate. Be prepared to read it aloud with flair -- leave your monotone at the door!
Polar Bear's Underwear. Oh no! Polar bear has lost his underwear! His friend, Mouse, helps him look for it. Along the way they discover all sorts of different kinds of underwear, but nothing is quite right. The fun twist at the end, along with the amusing way different animals wear their briefs had my kids giggling.
Petunia. Petunia is a delightful, quirky, none-too-bright goose who is under the impression that being in possession of a book makes her the smartest creature in the farmyard. She puts on airs and dispenses highly questionable advice but is quickly and humorously brought to task by the other farm animals and a run in with a box of fireworks. Also find this book on my list of classic picture books from the 1950s.
Stuck. I read this one aloud to my son's 1st grade class and the kids roared with laughter. Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree! He attempts to dislodge it by tossing larger and larger items into its branches, where, much to the reader's amusement, they stick. The ending is delightfully absurd.
Aliens Love Underpants. I don't know about your kids, but my boys love a book that involves underpants humor. It turns out that there are no underpants in space (little known fact) and so the aliens must make special trips to Earth for undies of all kinds, shape, colors and sizes. What could be better than underwear-loving aliens? Why underwear-loving aliens that rhyme, of course! Why not indulge in a few giggles? Not all picture books have to be profound (thank goodness).
Brief Thief. It is absolutely impossible not to laugh at this book! Especially the ending! Your kids will be rolling on the floor. Seriously. I don't want to give it away so let's just say it involves a chameleon, a wash tub, a rabbit, a conscience and holey briefs. If that's not a recipe for hilarity I don't know what is. Even my stoic husband cracked a smile and that's all the evidence you need.
Chickens to the Rescue. What happens when chickens try to help out around the farm? Lots of giggles, that's what. Further laughs can be had with the Cows, Pigs and Ducks to the Rescue books!
Is Everyone Ready for Fun? Pick any Jan Thomas book and you will have your kids holding their sides in a matter of seconds. I've read this one at library story time with great success. Can You Make a Scary Face? is also a winner. These also make really fun easy reader books.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is a very funny fractured fairy tale narrated by the wolf who insists that he's not the bad guy. He claims that he is not to blame and everything that happened to the pigs is simply based on a huge misunderstanding... and his allergies. There are very few children's picture books in which the narrator is untrustworthy and it is an great exercise in storytelling to read this book with an older child, who will be able to see the irony which a 3 year old will miss. Fractured fairy tales are great for older kids when they have a solid foundation in traditional fairy tales, because it helps them feel "in the know."
Shh! We Have a Plan. Four friends have a plan. They sneak though the wilderness in an attempt to catch a bird. Along the way, they "shush" the littlest participant, assuring him, they "have a plan!" Each attempt, however, is thwarted (in a giggle-inducing way) and it turns out, the little guy may have the right idea, after all. Great fun, and it offers a subtle lesson in the power of cooperation and kindness.
Froodle. The first time we read this story my son could not stop laughing! He wanted the book again and again. I think he likes it so much because he can identify with the desire to be silly and different from everyone else. All the birds in the neighborhood have their own sounds, they are well regulated and everyone knows his role. Then one day the Little Brown Bird decides not to make his regular peeping sound. One by one the birds discover the glory of trying something new, even -- at last -- the stubborn crow.
The Great Fuzz Frenzy is a long time favorite in our house and I love to read it because it give my inner drama queen (well, it's actually more of an outer drama queen) the opportunity to create lots of funny voices. Find out what happens when a tennis ball rolls into a prairie dog burrow. Hint: it involves a lot of fuzz.
Exclamation Mark. I was actually quite surprised at how much my then-4 year old loved this book since the concept of punctuation is beyond him. It was a winner with both kids. Whereas my youngest thought this was hilarious for the slapstick nature of the story, my then-8 year old found the puns hilarious. As with all of Rosenthal and Lichtenheld's collaborations, this is a must read.
Chloe and the Lion. Authors and illustrators should disagree more often, since the results are hilarious. this book is truly a collaboration of artist and illustrator and provides good material for discussions on book-making. After you stop laughing, that is.
I Must Have Bobo! When young Willy wakes up, he finds that his special sock monkey, Bobo, is missing. It turns out that Earl the Cat loves Bobo just as much as Willy. As Willy searches high and low for Bobo, Earl sneaks around in the background. My kids loved "being in on the joke" and it is quite satisfying when Willy finally finds Earl and Bobo together.
There Are Cats in This Book is another family favorite about cats. This book captures their quirky, lovable-ness perfectly. Three cats explore the world in lift the flap style. Great fun.
Want funny chapter books? Here you go!