Kids books to make you giggle

It’s the depth of winter, so what better time to snuggle up with a funny book? We recommend some of our favourite kids reads that are guaranteed to make you laugh and lift your spirits.


Brenda Is a Sheep by Morag Hood

Brenda says she’s a sheep, but to be honest, Brenda’s a little shady. She has a pointy snout, pointy canine teeth, she doesn’t enjoy eating grass, and her baa is non-existent. Still, the other sheep love and accept their tall, furry, odd-looking friend. When Brenda starts planning a sinister “feast” involving the sheep, the trusting sheep simply dial up their love even more. But will their adoration be able to change Brenda’s hungry nature?

Illustrated in bright greens and oranges, this is a sweet, funny and slightly macabre tale of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Kids will love being in on the joke right from the start. For ages 3 and up.


The Book That Never Ends (Books That Drive Kids Crazy, Book 5) by Beck Stanton & Matt Stanton

Once you start reading this book, you’ll find it almost impossible to stop! Matt and Beck Stanton are already masters of the funny picture book with their Books That Drive Kids Crazy series, but I think The Book That Never Ends might be their best yet. The story starts with the bold claim that no one has ever found the end to this book. The reader is directed through a simple series of pictures and choices (if you want to pat the lion, find the socks, if you don’t want to pat it, find the dog). But no matter how fast you pick options and turn pages, the last page is very elusive!

Using their trademark clean drawings and lots of bold words, this is a zany, silly, exhilarating, infuriating and very enjoyable book to read. For ages 4 and up.


Lemonade Jones by Davina Bell & Karen Blair

Lemonade Jones is a treat; she’s confident, creative, opinionated and always says what she thinks. In this extremely funny illustrated chapter book, Lemonade navigates starting Grade One in a new school, and holds a sixth birthday party with The Zoo Who Comes to You. Lemonade doesn’t mean to be unruly, but she does have trouble raising her hand and being quiet, and she might have possibly bitten someone mean on the arm, and also dressed Baby Walter up as a monkey and put him in a cage.

Kids will love the free-thinking and guileless Lemonade Jones, laugh at the things she does wrong, and look forward to the second book, Lemonade Jones and the Great School Fete. For ages 5 and up.


Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Dory is the youngest in the family, with two older siblings who don’t always want to play with her. Dory asks endless questions, throws regular tantrums, and has an imaginary monster friend called Mary. When her sister Violet and her brother Luke get sick of Dory’s antics, they convince her that a sinister character called Mrs Gobble Cracker lives next door, a notion that Dory runs with one hundred per cent.

This hilarious chapter book uses text and action-packed cartoons to show the out-of-control play that goes on in Dory’s family, and the trouble caused by Dory’s overactive imagination. For ages 5 and up.


Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Being pursued by a freaky mythical fish-man doesn’t sound very funny, does it? But that’s exactly what Malamander is. Twelve-year-old Herbert Lemon is employed as a Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, located in the creepy coastal town of Eerie-on-Sea (reputed home of legendary fish-man creature, the Malamander). Normally Herbert is charged with finding objects, but when Violet Parma bursts into his life and asks him to help her find her parents – who have been missing for twelve years – the two kids are dragged into a strange and highly entertaining mystery.

Eerie-on-Sea is peopled with amusing eccentrics: bearded Boathook Man, rich and snoopy hotel-owner Lady Kraken, a fortune-telling mermonkey automaton, a Flotsamporium owner, smarmy local author Sebastian Eels, and more. Herbert and Violet are natural investigators; they are willing to lie, manipulate and take inordinate physical risks, all the while peppering their new friendship with sarcasm and witty banter. For ages 9 and up.


Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo & K.G. Campbell

Equal parts novel and graphic novel, Flora & Ulysses tells the gorgeous and comedic story of an unlikely friendship between a girl and a squirrel. When a squirrel is accidentally sucked into the neighbour’s Ulysses Super-Suction Multi-Terrain 2000X vacuum cleaner, he’s rescued, resuscitated and named by self-diagnosed cynic Flora. The near-death experience is transcendental for Ulysses; he gains the power of flight, super-strength, philosophy and poetry. Together he and Flora take on his arch-nemeses (including Flora’s mother, a self-absorbed romance novelist who hates squirrels and Flora’s favourite comic equally), ease their own and each other’s loneliness, and save the day.

The off-the-wall humour of this excellent middle grade novel is also tinged gently with sadness. Flora’s parents' divorce has been difficult and Flora misses her father, and other neighbours and characters grapple with loneliness, grief and family conflict. For ages 9 and up.

Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She also writes books for children and young adults.

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Dory Fantasmagory

Dory Fantasmagory

Abby Hanlon

$14.99Buy now

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