10 Super Silly Books

This booklist was one of my favorites to compile. All ten of these books — and many wonderful children’s books that did not make the list – have been thoroughly tested and provided valuable laughs. If this list helps you discover one new book that makes you and your children laugh, I am happy.

A super silly photo of my kids imitating the square dancing animals in Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance: “Everybody promenade two by two.”

Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton. In her infinite comedic wisdom, Sandra Boynton realized that square dancing farm animals would make a hilarious subject for a children’s book. Barnyard Dance has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in our house. Now that my kids are six and three, they enjoy acting this book out while I read it aloud. Ages 0+

Howdi Do by Woody Guthrie and Vladimir Radunsky. Woody Guthrie wrote several children’s songs. In Howdi Do, Woody Guthrie’s lyrics are accompanied by illustrations of a yellow dog enthusiastically greeting everyone he meets. Howdi Do has  a silly, nonsensicle chorus that is very fun to read aloud. This book was one of my daughter’s favorites when she was two. Ages 1+

Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems. Knuffle Bunny Too is the second in a trilogy about a girl named Trixie and her beloved knuffle bunny. In Knuffle Bunny Too, Trixie, now in pre-K, misplaces knuffle bunny. This simple story is told with smart humor that will appeal to parents as well as kids. Mo Willems’ illustrations are amazing. Ages 3+

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall. I love the stories in this collection both for their humor and for their depiction of friendship. I have memories of my school librarian reading George and Martha books aloud to my kindergarten class and my classmates and I laughing hysterically. These stories still make me laugh out loud when I read them to my children. Ages 3+

Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer. Olivia is a great character, modeled after a spunky preschooler trying to exert control over her world. In Olivia Forms a Band, Olivia imitates an entire marching band and watches a fireworks show with her family. This is my husband’s favorite children’s book, and his love of Olivia has rubbed off on the rest of our family. Ages 3+

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems. In The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, Pigeon tries several humorous tactics to convince the reader to give him a puppy. As with Knuffle Bunny Too and Olivia Forms a Band, the humor derives from Mo Willems’ accurate portrayal of preschool age behavior. If you enjoy The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, look for others in this series (e.g. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus). Ages 4+

A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban. In A Birthday for Frances, Frances’ understanding parents gently help Frances deal with feelings of jealousy that arise as her younger sister’s birthday approaches. When deciding which Frances book to recommend, it was tricky to choose between my three favorites: Best Friends for Frances, Bread and Jam for Frances, and A Birthday for Frances. To break the tie, I consulted with my childhood self. My childhood self did not hesitate when recommending A Birthday for Frances…because of the Chompo Bar. Ages 4+

Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. A collection of five, tender stories about two best friends, Frog and Toad. I like the juxtaposition of calm, muted illustrations with crazy storylines. While a couple Frog and Toad stories offer insight rather than humor, my favorite Frog and Toad stories are humorous stories: “A List,” “The Garden,” and “Cookies.” Ages 3+

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. This book of super silly tongue twisters is aimed at new readers. Children will also enjoy hearing their parents grapple with the tongue twisters, culminating with the over-the-top “tweetle beetle battle” tongue twister. Ages 3+


Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. Diary of a Worm seems to be aimed at the six to ten age group. I found the jokes hilarious! The humor requires some basic knowledge of worms. E.g. “April 10. It rained all night and the ground was soaked. We spent the entire day on the sidewalk…Hopscotch is a very dangerous game.” Ages 6+

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5 Responses to 10 Super Silly Books

  1. Pingback: 5 Tips for Encouraging Your Child to Read This Summer (It’s not too late!) | Delightful Children's Books

  2. readitdaddy says:

    Mo Willems rocks! Our favourite ‘silly’ stories are definitely:

    The Pencil (By Bruce Ingmam and Allan Ahlberg)
    The Runaway Dinner (again, Bruce Ingman and Allan Ahlberg)
    Doctor Ted (by Andrea Beaty and Pascale Lemaitre)

    • Amy says:

      Yes! The Pencil!. I feel now like I should have left room for another author rather than include 2 Mo Willems books on this list, but Mo Willems does indeed rock. I am impressed at the range of ages of kids (and adults) who love his books.

  3. Samantha says:

    Good list! I can vouch for Fox in Socks. Harley and I hate it – Lila makes us read almost every night. She must enjoy our agony, either that or she really loves tongue twisters. Yet to be determined!

  4. Erinn L says:

    We really love Skippy Jon Jones, but you have to read the Mexico part with a Mexican accent and I imagine Mama Junebug Jones to talk like a southern black woman. Totally makes the book.

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