Kiddosphere: Funny Tales: April is National Humor Month
We could all use an extra laugh or two, right? While humor is subjective, here are sure-fire hits that should please many readers:
The Book With No Pictures is now one of my top picks for elementary school read alouds. I’ve read it on two different occasions this year (a Family Literacy Night at a local elementary school and a Cub Scouts group), and it’s been a HUGE hit both times (going to read it to a second grade group next week). It’s wacky, hilarious, and involves the phrase “boo boo butt.” You cannot be inhibited when reading this book, or it won’t be fun. You need to think about how to present it (if you read it, you’ll see why). I usually introduce the books that I’ve planned to read to the group, and when I get to this book, I tell them that we’ve just received this book, and that I’ve never read it before (note: do NOT do this in real life; always pre-read anything you’re reading to a group). “Should we read it”? I ask them (after noting its strange title), and I get a chorus of “yes.” (If you show some uncertainty or resistance, they’ll usually encourage you more to read it). You will have to change “this kid” to “these kids” (which is why you should always pre-read!), but that’s the only adjustment you’ll need to do if you read this to a group.
Buffalo Wings is a companion story to the equally hilarious Chicks and Salsa. The chickens on Nuthatcher Farm are pumped for the big football game (obviously the Superbowl). Knowing that buffalo wings are a must-have snack, they go off in search of one ingredient that seems to be missing. Apparently, the chickens thought that you need a winged buffalo in order to complete the treat….and are they surprised when they discover exactly what is included in buffalo wings (the illustration for this revelation is fabulous). A great read aloud anytime, but especially during football season.
The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds is a funny read aloud about bunnies who become more rambunctious as the evening wears on, but its clever humor is found in its illustrations (dad’s newspaper, for instance). This is one of my favorite “not ready for bedtime” stories.
Miss Nelson is Missing was published in 1977, but it’s timeless and still popular with kids. The sweet and overly accommodating teacher who decides to teach her class a lesson is the first (and the best, in my opinion) of the Miss Nelson series.
Confession: I love Elephant and Piggie much more than Mo Willems’s Pigeon books. I feel that the humor has stayed much more consistent in this series than the Pigeon series. We Are in a Book is one of the best; Elephant freaking out when he realizes that the book will end is priceless (and very meta).
I adore the Bad Kitty series and look forward to every new title (the most recent one is Puppy’s Big Day; the next one will be out in January and will feature Bad Kitty going to the vet!). The books are super funny, but each title includes facts about the subject at hand, which makes it educational as well as entertaining! (My favorites are Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble and Bad Kitty for President)
Fantasy is grand, epic, and absorbing, but rarely is it funny. Bliss is an exception. This comic tale of a magical bakery is also a charming tale about siblings.
Amy Poehler was announced as the star of the Lunch Lady feature film years ago, but it doesn’t look like much progress has been made on the movie. Luckily, the series doesn’t need a movie to increase its popularity; this graphic novel series about a crime-fighting lunch lady has been a hit ever since #1 was published in 2009.
Hope these titles bring a smile to your face! Make sure you are subscribed to Wowbrary to be among the first to know about our latest book and DVD orders.
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library
For book lists, reviews and staff suggestions for children published prior to January 2015, visit Kiddosphere, our blog about children/young adult fiction and non-fiction.