Funny Girls is a Can’t-Miss Collection of Hilarious Essays

It’s no secret that kids like funny books. Let’s be honest, adults like funny books, too. We all like to laugh. And I bet that if someone asked you to come up with five funny children’s book authors off the top of your head, you could do that. But how many of those authors would be female?

As a former children’s librarian at the New York Public Library, and the co-author of Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, Betsy Bird knows funny and books. In Funny Girls: Funniest. Stories. Ever, she’s gathered together more than 25 of the most hilarious women in children’s literature for a collection that proves boys don’t corner the market on funny. Need a few examples?

  • What do you do when your older sister’s bra accidentally ends up in the toilet and you don’t discover it until after you’ve, um, “done your business?” Lisa Graff (A Clatter of Jars) tells the story of sisters Deidre and Riley and The Great Bra Incident.
  • Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts) offers a warning about what might happen when you attack a killer bee.
  • Best friends Desdemona and Sparks have a plan to get into an elite dream school that involves a tv show, bird-calling, and a whole lot of creativity. Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer) and Michelle Garcia may win the prize for zaniest best friend story ever.
  • Any girl who has ever entered puberty could have used (and will appreciate) Libba Bray’s (The Diviners) “Public Service Announcement About Your Period from Sarah T. Wrigley, Age 12 3/4.” From embarrassing moms, to tampon horror stories, to nicknames, Bray has this rite of passage covered.
  • Speaking of rites of passage, Shannon Hale’s (Real Friends) tale of babysitting woes will have babysitters past and present nodding in agreement. Who knew taking care of 4-year-old twins could be so…terrifying?

The great thing about Funny Girls is that it encourages all readers, both boys and girls, to let their inner comedians shine. The stories contain humor of all types, including gross-out, situational, sarcastic, and karmic. The formats are equally diverse: graphic, letters, poetry, prose, lists; there’s even a quiz. It shows the reader that everybody has a little bit of funny in them, and that that gift may be shared in many different ways. So yes, while the book features comedic female talent, it’s a book that will speak to every reader, male and female, and it also celebrates the old adage: Laughter is the best medicine.

Don’t we all need a little of that?

What other funny female writers would you recommend?


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