The best children’s books to make you laugh

Elias Zapple Author Of The Mysterious Corridor
By Elias Zapple

The Books I Picked & Why

The BFG

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake

Book cover of The BFG

Why this book?

Giants, giants that eat people, a giant that gives you dreams and lots of silly words and disgusting bodily functions. Fantastic. This was one of the first books I read and it was a real laugh-out-loud one. I hadn’t known up to that point that books could be like that. Roald Dahl had a unique way of writing and speaking to kids. Laughter is so important!


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Best Holiday Ever

By Celia Carlile, Orison Carlile

Book cover of Best Holiday Ever

Why this book?

A children’s book that adults can enjoy too. And, I have to say, the humour is right up my cabbage patch. If you don't find this funny then your funny bone needs looking at. It's like a series of comedy sketches with the overall arc of memories of a child's holiday, of course, seen through the innocent eyes of a rather (perhaps dry-witted) child. We're taken through different pivotal memories of the holiday when hilarious moments took place, for example, dad's parking at the airport, and the episode with diarrhea. The funniest, laugh-out-loud moment came towards the end at airport security - I shan't give it away. It resonates with me and probably most people when reminiscing of their own childhoods, and for kids currently going through their own best holidays ever.


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Alice in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer

Book cover of Alice in Wonderland

Why this book?

A fantastical book full of imagination and fun. Perhaps not a laugh out loud but the entire situation Alice finds herself in with some impossible characters makes me giggle. Lewis Carroll creates a world full of vivid imagery and wonderful language that is not only engaging but fun too! It changed children’s literature and taught me that you’re only limited by your imagination, and can even make up another silly language. I like to think that my books are similar in that they’re a form of escapism where strange creatures talk and weird things happen. How fun!


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A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

By Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist

Book cover of A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

Why this book?

I just love Count Olaf, such a despicable, loathsome individual. It’s the perfect set-up. Three kids, all intelligent and reasonable get to live with a mean, spiteful and horrid individual. It reminds me of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. And who doesn’t like a horrible villain? There’s also the real-life element. The kids go through hard times, like we do in life, and sometimes there isn’t a happy ending. This breaks the formula which you expect to see; that all things end up right at the end, in life they sometimes don’t. But, we can laugh, and we can laugh at ourselves. I think this book achieves that.


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The Wonky Donkey

By Craig Smith, Katz Cowley

Book cover of The Wonky Donkey

Why this book?

It’s absurd. I first discovered this book because of a viral video that was making the rounds as viral videos tend to do. It was of a Scottish granny reading the book aloud to her very young grandchild. The granny’s laugh was infectious, as was the story. It’s a simple idea, a simple story and through repetition can help a child learn new words, how to read, and realise that adults can be just mad. Having fun with words is what it’s all about.


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