Books to Make Children Laugh

Books to Make Children Laugh

The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet – Tom Fletcher, Dougie Poynter and Garry Parsons

When the title of a book alone has the power to make your little one laugh, you know you’re onto a winner. To add to the collection of their other ‘The Dinosaur That Pooped…’ stories, the McFly lads have brought back Danny and the Dinosaur – and this time they’re off to space. When Danny forgets to pack a lunch box for Dino, the hungry reptile decides to eat everything in sight – that includes the only mode of transport home: their rocket!

“The laugh out loud silliness is on from the very first page… This is a fabulously bouncy book that is funnier than funny!” – Little Fiction Fascination Blog

That Pesky Rat – Lauren Child

Creator of the characters Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child’s That Pesky Rat follows the touching story of a street rodent who longs to be a pet and be called anything other than “that pesky rat” – despite his pet friends warning him of the downsides of being “looked after” by humans. It seems that his dreams have come true when he meets Mr Fortesque – a very old (and very blind) man – even though Mr Fortesque thinks he’s a cat and names him Tiddles.

“Another little masterpiece from Lauren Child, whose stories and quirky pictures leave you helpless with laughter” – Mail on Sunday

Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss

First published in 1960, Dr Seuss has been delighting little ones all over the world for over five decades. This is one of our many favourites – a story that introduces Sam-I-Am as he pesters a grumpy grouch to eat a plate of green eggs and ham. Sam-I-Am encourages him to eat the dish in numerous locations – including a house, car, train and boat – but the unnamed character refuses until the bitter end, when he is pleasantly surprised! After all, wouldn’t life be dull if we didn’t try anything new?

“Enter Dr Seuss, master of the imagination, inventor of wicked rhyme schemes, and creator of fantastical illustrations… It’s fun, it’s classic, and it’s adored by almost all children who read it…” –

Horrid Henry

Francesca Simon has been writing her Horrid Henry series of books since 1994. Today, they remain as popular with children as ever, as his hilarious exploits cause a serious case of mischievous giggles across the globe. From sabotaging the school nativity play to trying to trick the tooth fairy, each story sees him battle with his goody-two-shoes brother “Perfect Peter” and his rival neighbour “Moody Margaret”. Kids recognise that Henry’s antics are extreme, but they can live them vicariously through him – something that is undeniably funny for any child.

“Achingly funny and surprisingly sophisticated” – The Times

The Twits – Roald Dahl

First published in 1980 and adapted for the stage in 2007, the Twits are the ultimate “married couple at each other’s throats”. Out of pure hatred, they are constantly playing practical jokes on one another – and do you know a child who doesn’t enjoy reading about practical jokes? Frogs in beds, dropping glass eyes into beer glasses, presenting a plate of worms instead of spaghetti… this story is horrible, hilarious and hairy in equal doses.

“In his grotesque, inhuman villains, Dahl manages to create characters that are totally bad, but also highly engaging and full of quirks, wit and personality – a difficult fete that many competent writers do not always succeed at” –

The Enormous Crocodile – Roald Dahl

We couldn’t help but include two books from the ever-reigning master of quick wit within our list. The Enormous Crocodile picture book was the first of Dahl’s stories to be illustrated by Quentin Blake. Set in Africa, a huge crocodile takes a trip through the jungle, telling all the animals his plan to eat up juicy little children. The other animals tell him he is horrible – even giving him death threats should he try. He tries, nonetheless, but every time he does the animals of the jungle manage to save the day!

“Children are naturally drawn to animals, and the personification of the animals in the book makes the story all the more exciting and fun to read” – Gathering Books

You’re a Bad Man Mr Gum – Andy Stanton and David Tazzyman

With humour that can best be described as oddball, this book – the first in Stanton’s bestselling Mr Gum series – follows the evil, dirty Mr Gum. His house is filthy, but his garden is immaculate. When Jake, the big but friendly dog, keeps trying to dig up his prized garden, he also provokes the angry fairy who lives there. Mr Gum sets out on a mission of revenge, where he meets a whole host of characters – including Polly, a nine-year-old heroine with a 31-word first name. Stanton’s loopy sense of humour really shines through in this book, causing some serious snort-out-loud moments.

“Illustrated on nearly every page with comical vignettes and spot art, the tale makes a serious assault on the silly bone” – Kirkus Reviews

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

American schoolboys George Beard and Harold Hutchins are the ultimate playground pranksters. As well as playing tricks on their headmaster (hypnosis turns him into a silly superhero), they trick just about everyone – putting pepper on pom-poms and helium in footballs. The fabulous illustrations are certainly a big part of the fun – especially when Principal Krupp puts on his Captain Underpants outfit and sings “Tra-La-Laaaaaaaa”.

“Superheroes are always fascinating to kids. And children of a certain age will laugh at anything that has to do with underpants. Combining the two was a stroke of comic genius” – School Library Journal

Harry Hill’s Whopping Great Joke Book – Harry Hill

If your child loves slapstick (does any child not?), Harry Hill’s side-splitting joke book should provide hours of amusement. His Whopping Great Joke Book contains over 100 classic gags, accompanied by Harry’s hand-drawn sketches. Some of the jokes are older than your granny, while others have been invented specifically for the book by Harry himself. Your child will love memorising a few of the corkers to get a laugh from friends and family alike.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series introduces Greg Heffley, the narrator. The diary belongs to Greg – an unforgettable schoolboy that every family can relate to – as he recalls the hazards and growing pains of school life. His diaries give us an insight into the mind of a teenager, as he tries to impress the girls, avoid the school talent show and, most importantly, keep his secret (namely, his diary) safe. Everything Greg tries to navigate seems to have hilarious consequences.

“Jeff Kinney does a great job, in words and pictures, of illustrating the general goofiness that comes with being a self-centred adolescent, and the funny things that happen as a result” –

The Diary of Dennis the Menace – Steven Butler

We had to feature another diary within our list; they seem to be the perfect balance between a comic book and an actual novel, and are ideal for encouraging young children to read. Dennis is anything but a wimpy kid, though, and while the humour in this book isn’t as mature as some of the others, it is full of funny, ironic and bizarre situations. In this book, Dennis gives readers an “exclusive” insight into his secrets with a rundown on every wicked prank he has ever played. A particular highlight is Dennis’s very own Christmas song, sure to get your very own cheeky devils laughing their socks off.

“Not all books have a sense of humour but this one does. Funny books are our favourite so we would recommend this one to people across the globe” – The Guardian Children’s Books review.

May Contain Nuts (World of Norm) – Jonathan Meres

The World of Norm series of books are all about a normal boy in his normal life, whose name is Norman. The first book, May Contain Nuts, follows him and his family as they downsize their home – much to Norm’s dismay. He is now disturbed by his dad’s snoring “like a constipated rhinoceros”, tries to pee in a wardrobe after the confusion of being in a new house, and gets blamed for something he didn’t do! Could life get any worse for poor Norm?

“Funny and heart-warming, a brilliant read that makes you laugh out loud” – Parents in Touch

The Secret Diary of Adrian mole Aged 13 3/4 – Sue Townsend

The first in the Adrian Mole series, the 1982 book is written in a diary-style format and focuses on the angst and worries of a teenager who likes to think of himself as an intellectual. As well as the many humorous events depicted in the diary, the book is something of a history lesson to kids, referring to some world events of the time, such as the Falklands War, the marriage of Lady Diana to Prince Charles and the birth of Prince William.

“I think every teenager across the country will love this book as it delves deep and personally into the troubles of adolescence. I praise Sue Townsend as she wrote this so cleverly; in parts I felt I was the misguided main character!” – The Guardian, Children’s Books review

Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy

When 12-year-old Stephanie Edgley inherits her strange uncle’s estate, she must hook up with Skulduggery Pleasant – a wisecracking skeleton detective and magician – to save the world from the Faceless Ones. Although they are classed as fantasy books, Derek Landy’s trademark snappy humour and witty characters add another dimension to the stories, giving children a page-turning volume that they will struggle to put down.

“The plot is interesting, the heroine strong and intelligent… and the book is genuinely funny… I laughed out loud many times” – Goodreads review

Geek Girl – Holly Smale

Geek Girl is the debut novel from Holly Smale, whose choppy writing and wacky humour brings to life the geeky world of Harriet Manners. She has all the makings of a geek – she loves learning new facts and is mocked constantly by her classmates. But when she accompanies her friend Nat to a fashion expo, it is Harriet that is scouted as a model. Tired of being labelled a geek, she decides to go for it – but can she cope under the spotlight?

“Cleverly plotted… it’s unpredictable, funny, and carries a strong message without ever feeling like the message is more important than the story” – The Book Bag

You can find even more hilarious and fun children’s books on our website.

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