Laugh-Out-Loud Books

 

Sharing a funny book is a great way to break the ice with a new or shy student, and it can motivate students to want to read.

Amelia Bedelia
By Peggy Parish
Illustrated by Fritz Siebel
Reading Seed Level: Early; Fountas & Pinnell Level: J; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

It’s Amelia Bedelia’s first day on the job as a housekeeper. She is left a list of tasks and boy does she do them-the WRONG way!

Here is a delightful book with many blunders made by Amelia Bedelia because she takes everything literally. The part where she “dresses” the chicken is particularly funny!  Thankfully she keeps a good attitude through it all and can bake a mean lemon-meringue pie to calm everyone down and remedy the misunderstandings!

Amelia Bedelia is a great character because children love knowing the “real” meaning of the phrases that poor Amelia Bedelia (an adult) continues to misunderstand-it makes them feel smart!  Children also identify with her because they too still misunderstand many phrases.  This book is a great opportunity to discuss homonyms and idioms.  It shows us how important it is to understand the words we read.

At about three to four sentences per page, very clear text, and lots of space between words this will be a great choice for students who love to laugh!

Babymouse: Our Hero
By Jennifer L. Holm
Illustrated by Matthew Holm
Reading Seed Level: Early; Fountas & Pinnell Level: K; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

Sassy and full of imagination, Babymouse is NOT excited to go to school!  More than just school is at stake-it comes down to good vs. evil; the evil just happens to be her arch nemesis, perfect yet very evil, Felicia Furrypaws!

On this fateful week is the annual dodgeball tournament in P.E. for a grade that goes on Babymouse’s permanent record! She is good at many things, but not dodgeball.  Babymouse gets lots of support and practice from her faithful friend Wilson the weasel.  The day of the tournament finally arrives.  It comes down to Felicia and Babymouse.  Who will win?  Read it and find out in this graphic novel style chapter book for early readers.

Binky the Space Cat
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Reading Seed Level: Intermediate; Fountas & Pinnell Level: O; Interest Level: 3rd-6th grade

Binky is an amusing, clever cat with a dream to conquer the unknown realms of space-his backyard.  He plots and plans while his humans are away.  He becomes an official certified space cat, and when he isn’t chasing the aliens (flies) that invade his house, he spends his time constructing a spaceship with his co-pilot, best friend, and mousie-Ted.  Will Binky make his trek into the great unknown?  You’ll have to read and find out!

Binky’s adventures are fun and easy to follow in this graphic novel.  It is great for readers who love this style of book. Those who enjoy an abundance of pictures won’t mind working on vocabulary and comprehension while exploring the inner dialogue of this witty space cat.

Captain Underpants
Written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Reading Seed Level: Early; Fountas & Pinnell Level: M; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

Two prankster 4th grade boys pull one prank too many.  They are caught by there grumpy principal, and boy do they pay-until their 3-D Hypno-Ring arrives 4 to 6 weeks later that is!  Then, having some fun, they hypnotize their principal and tell him to act like the main character in their own comic book Captain Underpants!

In this comic book within a book kids are shown that they can write their own stories just for fun and however they want (even if it includes the principal of their school in his underwear saving the day!).  Kudos to Dav Pilkey for creating a book that kids really want to read and think is hilarious.  As you can imagine by the title, the book does contain some potty humor (that’s part of the reason kids love it!), but not as much as one might think.

This is great for children who still need many pictures in a chapter book.  The book includes a flip book at the end for extra fun.  It is very interactive and fast-paced to keep those with shorter attention spans interested.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Reading Seed Level: Beginning; Fountas & Pinnell Level: E; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

If you haven’t read this with your student, you must!  The bus driver leaves the reader in charge of watching his bus while he is gone.  The pigeon engages in a conversation with the reader, asking to drive the bus in sly, but unsuccessful ways.

The illustrations are so simple yet so telling.  The uncomplicated layout, lots of blank space, and short sentences with large text make this book a great choice for struggling readers.  Allow your student to have fun talking back to the pigeon and remind them of their responsibility to make sure he doesn’t drive the bus.

Elephant & Piggie: I Will Surprise My Friend!
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Reading Seed Level: Emerging; Fountas & Pinnell Level: D; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

You will have a great time reading this adorably funny book about two friends trying to surprise each other.  There is a large amount of white space on the pages and the large text is enclosed with colored speech bubbles, which make it easy for a young reader to find.  With only one to two sentences per page, simple sentence structures, and characters you’ll both fall in love with, this book makes it on our Rock Star list.  The illustrations are vital to the story and will make you grin just by looking at them.  If you like this one, and we know you will, check out the other books in the series.

Sheep in a Jeep
By Nancy Shaw
Illustrated by Margot Apple
Reading Seed Level: Beginning; Fountas & Pinnell Level: E; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

Between Nancy Shaw’s simple, clear, fun rhyming text and Margot Apple’s bright, super silly illustrations this book is a sure hit.  With one to two sentences per page and really good spacing between words this book is perfect for a beginning reader.  It starts out with the sheep taking a drive in a jeep.  As these sheep aren’t the brightest creatures, well, lots of silliness ensues.

Sheep in a Jeep is sure to create much laughter and conversation about how each of the ridiculous situations could have been avoided.

The Twits
By Roald Dahl
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Reading Seed Level: Intermediate; Fountas & Pinnell Level: P; Interest Level: 3rd-6th grade

Mr. & Mrs. Twit are a disgusting, mean couple that live together in England.  They love to play nasty tricks on each other and get joy out of being mean to anyone or anything they meet.  The first half of this book, with chapters that are no more than four pages long, is dedicated to describing Mr. & Mrs. Twit’s twisted relationship.

The second half shows just how cruel they can be to any animal that comes across their path and how the animals decide to deal with the Twits when they’ve had enough.  The humor comes in when the Twits’ mean pranks come back to haunt them.

The crude drawings are completely appropriate for the story and help paint the picture of this troublesome twosome. This could be a good introductory chapter book for your student because it is a quick read and there are pictures on just about every page.

Walter the Farting Dog
By William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray
Illustrated by Audrey Colman
Reading Seed Level: Intermediate; Fountas & Pinnell Level: N; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

This gross story about a dog with gas problems is guaranteed to make your student giggle.  Walter’s gas gets him in and (interestingly) out of trouble.  The pages clearly define where the text is and the font is fun, but still legible.  There are a couple of words that may present a challenge for your student, but it will be a good opportunity to go over some vocabulary.

The detailed illustrations give the reader a lot to explore.  Many kids find farting funny, so let them enjoy this one but you can also touch on the meaningful message of acceptance and redemption.

You Will Be My Friend!
Written and illustrated by Peter Brown
Reading Seed Level: Early; Fountas & Pinnell Level: J; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

Lucy, a lovable bear, decides she wants to make a new friend today.  Her naïve attempts and determination make this a fun laugh-out-loud book.  There are plenty of pictures to provide clues and keep your reader’s interest.

This book is for readers who are comfortable with the layout of a book and know to read top to bottom and right to left, some of the speech bubbles can get confusing otherwise.  You can have a rich conversation about what qualities make a good friend to ensure comprehension and a personal connection.