While I often whine about having to read children’s books over and over again, I have run across a handful of books that, frankly, I’d read for pleasure. I never knew how hilarious children’s books can be for adults, and I love how our culture has taken this turn!
I think it started back in the Shrek days. Everyone quickly realized that Shrek was not solely for children, and some even questioned if children should watch the sometimes raunchy movie(s) at all. Well, I was not a child and did not have children, so I thought they were hilarious. Obviously, we’ve now hit our stride, and most cartoons and animated movies wink at the adults throughout.
I’ve watched a ridiculous number of Peppa Pig episodes, and I find myself watching them even when George leaves the room. I also may or may not routinely listen to the Trolls, Moana, and Sing soundtracks while I cook dinner (George has seen two out of three, but has no actual recognition of any). The Sing soundtrack is my fave, btw.
So, when I’m be-bopping through a new library book with George and I come across a joke or reference that he won’t catch until he hits double digits, I get a little thrill. I love when authors are intentionally witty and pull it off.
And while I considered saving this list for April Fool’s Day, I’ve decided that’s too far away, and I’m impatient. Plus, I’m sure the list will continue to grow. Some of the books have personal, family reasons why we think they’re funny (i.e. My husband put on a hilarious voice), but some are just plain witty.
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
From the illustrator who gifted the world with The Day the Crayons Quit, Stuck is an ironic twist on a kid getting his kite unstuck from a tree. What happens when you get your kite stuck in a tree? I just didn’t see the end coming.
Moo, Baa, La, La, La by Sandra Boynton
Ah, I would like to have lunch with Ms. Boynton, as she seems delightfully clever. She writes board books! How can you impart such wit in such a small space? This little book teaches animal sounds. A cow says moo; a sheep says baa. But what do three singing pigs say? Why, “La, la, la!” of course! Again, one of those jokes George won’t get until years later.
Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos
Note to self: Find again at library! A baby is born with a mustache. The family is concerned only if it’s a good-guy mustache or a bad-guy mustache. The illustrations are just spot on. Perfect gift for a new daddy.
King Baby by Kate Beaton
Please, just go out and find this book, whatever the means. If you’ve had a baby, and especially if you’ve had a boy, then a baby sister … perfection. This is the story of my life as a mama. We routinely say, “It’s QUEEN BABY!” Yes, it’s an inside joke, so get on the inside!
The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
I just realized that Kate Beaton made it on my list twice. In my opinion, she’s that hilarious. I was a horse fanatic as a young gal, so that probably boosts this book in my good favor. Princess Pinecone is a warrior who wants a big, strong horse for her birthday. Well, her parents tried, they really did…
Side Note: Author Kate Beaton has also written a few “historical” comic books for adults. They’re hilarious, if a tad inappropriate.
Rhymocerous by Janik Coat
Another board book for you. I love giving this one at a shower (if you ever invite me to a baby shower or kid birthday, expect a book, as I see them as the gift that keeps on giving!). You just don’t see these types of rhymes. Baby books give plenty of “sad” and “mad” or “too” and “you,” but not much “inky” (I thought someone had doodled in the library’s copy) and “stinky” or “old” and “gold.” The illustrations are cool, and some pages are touch-and-feel.
Snappsey the Alligator by Julie Falatko
The first time I saw Blazing Saddles, my mom told me it was her favorite movie in college and how she loved the actors breaking the fourth wall. Well, I’ve adopted this practice and love any time authors or actors talk to the audience in a clever way.
Basically, Snappsey is going about a typical alligator day when an unseen narrator keeps interpreting his actions incorrectly. After all, Snappsey did not ask to be in this book! You eventually see the narrator, but the work up to the appearance just tickles me. It also helped that my husband would read this book to George with his best impression of Dr. Doofenshmirtz (from Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. If you’re a fan, watch that link!). Fabulous memory.
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor
Deadpan humor. Hoot Owl is, of course, a master of disguise. And he is hungry! So he disguises himself as numerous items to attempt to catch his prey. He’s not very good at it. An overly confident owl with a flair for the dramatic. Presh.
Let’s be honest, I could keep going and going, but I think this is a pretty good start. Maybe by April 1 I’ll have a whole new list to tickle that funny bone.
Any books make you laugh out loud? PLEASE share, because Mama always needs a chuckle!
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