Laughter is the best medicine, right? If so, then nothing beats reading a funny story with your kids.
Sharing a joke, remembering a funny passage, and smiling together is a great way to connect with your kids or grandkids. In my article, The Power of a Bedtime Story, I also share that reading funny stories before bedtime with the kids is also the perfect way to end a stressful day. You'll also find tips on how to read to your kids to make the experience more fun.
So here’s our list of 19 favorite children’s stories to get kids and parents laughing together. Why 19? Because it’s funnier than 20. There is no scientific testing or rationale to this list.
Sometimes it’s the story and sometimes it’s the illustrations that get us giggling but whatever the reason, we read these books over and over and over again. You can see even more great kids book picks here. (If I missed your favorite funny kids’ book, please leave me a comment below and share. My family is always looking for a funny new book.)
- Duck! Rabbit! By Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld (Ages 1 to 6) Amazing how so few words can be so funny.
- The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, (Ages 18 months to 4) I read this book as a kid and it’s still a favorite. The anticipation makes it fun.
- But Not the Hippopotomus by Sandra Boynton (Ages 1 – 3) All of her books are cute but this one touches your heart, with a happy ending.
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (Ages 3 - 5) Any Mo Willems book will work but this one has funny illustrations and a silly premise. It resonates with kids. We’re also a fan of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale.
- Olivia and the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer (Ages 3 – 7) The illustrations are hilarious and Olivia is a true heroine.
- Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss (Ages 3 – 5) Any Dr. Seuss book is whimsical and fun so we picked our favorite because of the tongue twisters. (It’s Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd. Check out these fun ideas to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ creativity with your kids.)
- Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner (Ages 3 – 6) A cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua and speaks Spanish? The illustrations and alliteration make this book a joy to read out loud.
- Where’s the Dragon? by Jason Hook (Ages 4 – 7) The illustrations and embossed pages are gorgeous and the kids love finding the hidden dragons and laughing at the Grandpa in the story who can’t see them.
- Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel (Ages 5 – 8) Cats are evil and that’s funny.
- What Are You So Grumpy About? By Tom Tom Lichtenheld (Ages 3 – 8) When your kids are in a bad mood, this is THE perfect book to get them out of the grumps.
- The Secret Life of Walter Kitty by Barbara Jean Hicks (Ages 5 – 8) A lazy, fat cat who imagines he's Indiana Jones? Pure funny.
- Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Be Noticed by J.C. Phillips (Ages 3 – 6) A ninja who goes against everything a ninja stands for is very silly.
- The Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey (Ages 7 – 10) A hero wearing tighty-whiteys? Need I say more? Perfect for little boys.
- Hank Zipzer Series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver (Ages 8 – 12) Very cute story about a boy with ADHD who gets into big scrapes with his friends and dog.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney. (Ages 8 – 11) My son devours these books in two hours. When I ask him why he likes them so much he says “They’re funny, duh.”
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (Ages 9 - 11) Recommended by Debby, one of our Mom’s Talk readers, this book is very creative and so much fun to read.
- The Sisters Grimm, Fairytale Detectives Series by Michael Buckley (Ages 9 – 11) The stories are adventurous and both my son and daughter love the inside jokes on fairytale characters. This is the book series that finally got my daughter to read chapter books. The audio books are perfect for road trips.
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman (Ages 9 and up) The movie is a classic but the book has a lot more one liners and magic that will delight you and your kids. Read it together!
- Scepter of the Ancients, Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy (Ages 10 – 12) This book is very funny with a magic-wielding, sarcastic skeleton detective as the main hero.
What is your favorite funny children’s book to read with the kids?
Note: No one is making any money off of recommending these books. I just put the links in to make it easier for you to find them.