The best funny easy-to-read chapter books in a series for kids

Who am I?

I landed my dream job teaching kindergarten in a Brooklyn public school, but it soon ended thanks to citywide budget cuts.  Wanting to continue connecting with children, I made my way into children's book publishing first as an editor, later as a writer.  I've now written over 100 books including Dinner at the Panda Palace (PBS StoryTime book); May I Pet Your Dog? (Horn Book Fanfare); Dozens of Dachshunds (Scholastic Book Club selection); the Our Principal series (S&S Quix books); and The Adventures of Allie and Amy series, written with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole. I found my new dream job teaching, entertaining, and encouraging children through books.


I wrote...

Our Principal Is a Frog!

By Stephanie Calmenson, Aaron Blecha (illustrator),

Book cover of Our Principal Is a Frog!

What is my book about?

In this funny, easy-to-read chapter book, bumbling magician Marty Q. Marvel accidentally turns Principal Bundy into a frog and can't undo his spell! Having a slimy, croaking amphibian for a principal becomes challenging for the kids at PS 88. He plays leapfrog in the gym, swims in the sink, and eats a student's homework. (It was a bug collection.) This laugh-out-loud story turns The Frog Prince on its little green head.

Each of the eight books in the "Our Principal," series is based on a folk tale and has short chapters, well-sized type, a word list, questions, and b&w cartoon-style illustrations. The books are part of the QUIX series designed to encourage emerging readers.

The books I picked & why

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Pizza and Taco: Best Party Ever!

By Stephen Shaskan,

Book cover of Pizza and Taco: Best Party Ever!

Why this book?

Best buddies Pizza and Taco start out bored, but this book is anything boring! After several goofy ideas fail, the friends come up with a great one: throw a party! Of course, their plans go awry, including the sign mistakenly announcing a "Farty" instead of a "Party".  After reading this book, kids may not be able to look at a slice or a taco again without laughing.

Pizza and Taco: Best Party Ever!

By Stephen Shaskan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pizza and Taco as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The second in a hilarious young graphic novel series about Pizza and Taco. This time around Pizza and Taco are bored, so they decide to throw an awesome party! What could possibly go wrong?

Pizza and Taco have the oh-so-relatable problem of not knowing what to do when boredom strikes. The answer? Throw a party! They have a location, a guest list, and decorations. Everything is perfect . . . until it isn't. In fact, it's kind of a DISASTER! Ice Cream has a meltdown, and who knew Hamburger was lactose intolerant? (Who invited Cheeseburger anyway?) Well, now they know…


Geeger the Robot to the Rescue

By Jarrett Lerner, Serge Seidlitz (illustrator),

Book cover of Geeger the Robot to the Rescue

Why this book?

"Greee-TINGS BEST FRIEND IN THE MILK- eee waaay," says Geeger the Robot. Greetings, Geeger! When Geeger's efforts to cheer his friend Tillie fail, he computes information offered by their teacher to find the best way to help. With Geeger by her side, it's hard for Tillie—or any reader—to be down in the dumps for long. Jarrett Lerner's book is filled with heart and humor and, happily, this book is part of a series. 

Geeger the Robot to the Rescue

By Jarrett Lerner, Serge Seidlitz (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Geeger the Robot to the Rescue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of the Bots books comes the adventures of Geeger, a robot whose best friend needs his help in the third story in a fun-to-read Aladdin QUIX chapter book series that’s perfect for emerging readers!

Geeger’s best friend, Tillie, is having a bad day and he wants to cheer her up. But sharing snacks and jokes aren’t working. How will Geeger make Tillie smile again?


Mercy Watson to the Rescue

By Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (illustrator),

Book cover of Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Why this book?

Mr. and Mrs. Watson have a pig named Mercy, whom they lovingly call their "porcine wonder". The Watsons are human, but thanks to Chris Van Dusen's illustrations, there's a perfect family resemblance. When Mercy hops into bed with Mr. and Mrs. Watson and the bed starts to fall through the floor, Mercy runs next door for help. The sisters who live there are Baby (definitely no babe), and crabby Eugenia (wait till you see her crabby face). And the Eugenia-Mercy chase is on! This book is madcap, sweet-natured fun. 

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

By Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mercy Watson to the Rescue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first adventure of this NEW YORK TIMES best-selling porcine wonder is now available as an e-book. (Ages 6 - 8)

To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig – she's a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons' bed. BOOM! CRACK! As the bed and its occupants slowly sink through the floor, Mercy escapes in a flash – "to alert the…


Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day

By Nick Bruel,

Book cover of Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day

Why this book?

A Bad Kitty book that's (mostly) about dogs? Count me in! (I write a lot of dog books.) Kitty is in a very, very, very bad mood, and nobody knows why. The ever-slurpy Puppy gives Kitty a big sloppy kiss, which turns out to be a big mistake! Uncle Murray is called in to get Puppy out of the chaos and somehow (you'll have to read the book for the details), Puppy lands in an animal shelter. Laughs, information about dogs and shelters, and a smart surprise ending make this book a great lead-in to the enormously popular Bad Kitty series. (Full disclosure: The word "lousy" is used once. Hopefully that won't dissuade any grown-up from sharing this reader-enticing book.)

Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day

By Nick Bruel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bad Kitty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bad Kitty's in a bad mood . . . a very bad mood, and Puppy is not helping.

Enter Uncle Murray, who's tasked with taking care of Puppy for the day, but that's when the trouble begins. When they go on a walk through the park, Uncle Murray almost gets himself arrested while Puppy ends up in the pound, where he meets some very peculiar new pals.


The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants #1

By Dav Pilkey,

Book cover of The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants #1

Why this book?

No list of funny, easy chapter books would be complete without Captain Underpants! This first book in the series introduces us to best buddy mischief makers George and Harold who hypnotize their principal, turning him into Captain Underpants. George and Harold are good kids. Really. I mean it. They just happen to have a mile-long "silly streak".  While not every adult approves of these books because the kids are cheeky, this is humor that gets kids reading. It's an honorable goal with exemplary execution. (Note: Author-illustrator Dav Pilkey was diagnosed as a kid with ADHD and dyslexia. At school, he was sent to sit out in the hallway daily. His success story, shared at the end of the book, is inspiring.)   

The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Captain Underpants #1

By Dav Pilkey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Adventures of Captain Underpants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Laugh out loud with the first Captain Underpants,
the #1 New York Times bestselling series
from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Dog Man!


This edition is a full-colour graphic novel



Fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins are a couple of
class clowns.

The only thing they enjoy more than playing practical jokes is
creating their own comic books.

And together they've created the greatest superhero in the history
of their elementary school: Captain Underpants!

His true identity is SO secret, even HE doesn't know who he is!



The critics are CRAZY about UNDERPANTS!

"Irresistible." - Entertainment Weekly

"Call Pilkey...…


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