Kids already sick of back-to-school season? Laughter is the always best medicine, and we’ve rounded up some picture books sure to make parents and children alike get a case of the giggles. Check out our picks from famed funny authors and illustrators like Ryan T. Higgins, Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers, Mo Willems, and more!
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, by Ryan T. Higgins
The author and illustrator of Mother Bruce and Be Quiet brings young readers another clever and hilarious read, this time all about a cute Tyrannosaurus Rex named Penelope who’s hungry for back-to-school season. Don’t let her adorable pink overalls fool you—Penelope has an appetite for destruction, and by destruction, we mean children. Despite having three hundred tuna sandwiches for lunch, this T. Rex still can’t help but devour her classmates, who—don’t worry—emerge unscathed (and slobbery) when her teacher makes her spit them out in this witty twist on a school-time tale.
The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
If your kiddos loved—and laughed at—Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’s comedic The Day the Crayons Quit, they’ll be tickled pink over the companion book. This time, it’s postcards that land in Duncan’s mailbox and the pages of the picture book. They’re from the many crayons that he’s lost, broken, forgotten, or neglected over the years, and these little guys are hoping their pal Duncan can help them out. From rivals Yellow and Orange finding themselves literally stuck with each other to Pea Green (aka Esteban the Magnificent) breaking out to travel the world, these colorful characters are sure to bring the laughs.
The Book with No Pictures, by B.J. Novak
You know a surefire way to make a kid laugh? Force a grown-up to sing, “Glug glug glug, my face is a bug, I eat ants for breakfast right off the ruuuuug,” or shout out the word, “Blork” or “Bluurf.” And if that doesn’t work, they could make the grown-up say, “My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt.” And that’s the magic behind B.J. Novak’s completely unillustrated children’s book, because that’s the way books work—“everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say.” Kids and adults alike will be LOLing at this super-fun and silly read.
Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, by Bob Shea
Despite the title, this book is not about a boastful unicorn (unicorns don’t think they’re great anyway—they just know). It is, in fact, about an ordinary goat—our sulky narrator—who can’t possibly compete with Unicorn, who can fly, make things turn to gold, and cause it to rain cupcakes. So maybe Goat’s marshmallow squares (they turned out almost right!) and not-so-magic trick can’t match up to the likes of Unicorn, but as it turns out, there are a few things Goat can do that Unicorn can’t, which might well be the makings of a beautiful friendship and a funny book.
This Book Just Ate My Dog!, by Richard Byrne
Bella thinks she’s just taking her dog out for a regular walk across the page until her pup disappears into gutter of the very picture book young readers are holding in their hands! Her friend Ben tries to help, but he gets stuck in the gutter too—as does a dog rescue vehicle, a fire truck, and a police car! Kids will love the visual gag and the book’s clever pacing as more and more helpers get stuck in the middle of the book. And, as it turns out, young readers are the ones that have a hand in freeing everyone from the gutter—including Bella’s dog—in this hilarious participatory read.
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!, by Mo Willems
Mo Willems’s funny and impetuous pigeon wants to do a lot of things—drive a bus, eat a hot dog, not take a bath, and more. And in this laugh-out-loud read, he really, really, really wants to get a puppy. He’s wanted one forever—or “at least since last Tuesday.” And he promises to water it once a month as he addresses young readers with his pleas for a puppy friend. But the pigeon should be careful what he asks for in this hilarious installment in Willems’s Pigeon collection, because he just might get it.
What books make your kids LOL?