The best hysterically funny picture books

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve worked with kids in preschools and elementary schools, (plus I’m a mom!) and to me, nothing is better than hearing kids laugh. I also just adore picture books and treasure my personal library, with its focus on (you guessed it!) humor. Sassy cats, bears who want to have kids for pets, chickens who interrupt, alphabets overrun by frustrated Zebras, picture books bravely go where other books might only tiptoe in a cowardly fashion—into the world of wild imagination and anthropomorphized everything. With amazing artwork!! Let’s be honest, I’ll choose funny picture books over War and Peace every time.


I wrote...

Book cover of Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork

What is my book about?

Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork is a tale of the epic battle between two spirited utensils who vie to be the MVP of baby-feeding (and get some help from big-hearted, ear-chewed Bubby Wabbit and a very frantic Clock along the way.) Comic-book style illustrations by the amazing creative duo Dan & Jason make this book extra-super hysterical. A perfect choice for new parents, babies, children with siblings, kids who love comics, or anyone who wants to relive the fun of feeding baby! It’s also a great story for teachers and caregivers who want to encourage teamwork and impart the joys of shared goals. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Traction Man Is Here!

Constance Lombardo Why did I love this book?

Traction Man is a big-hearted superhero, and boy does he have some rescuing to do. Everything comes alive in this delightfully illustrated picture book about one action figure’s adventures—including evil pillows and a brave scrubbing brush who becomes Traction Man’s sidekick. But when Traction Man takes a trip to Grandma’s house in the Intergalactic People Mover (a car,) he faces his biggest challenge yet: can he pull off the green romper suit that Granny knit just for him? Laugh out loud funny!! 

By Mini Grey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Traction Man Is Here! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Traction Man—wearing combat boots, battle pants, and his warfare shirt—comes in a box, but very quickly finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. This superhero searches for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy makes a game of doing the dishes, and later in the bathtub, he conquers the Mysterious Toes that are stealing his pet, the brave little Scrubbing Brush. These are just a few of the action-packed adventures played out by the boy and his new toy that may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but can…


Book cover of I'm Not Santa!

Constance Lombardo Why did I love this book?

One of my favorite picture books ever of all time, I’m Not Santa features an exceptionally cute owlet. He’s the same guy from I’m Not Cute (but he is!!) except this time he’s out in the snow at Christmas time, wearing a red cap and pulling a sled. So, of course, when Baby Owl runs into Baby Hare, the little hare sees the red cap, mistakes the sled for a sleigh, and cries, “Santa! It’s you!” Baby Owl insists, “I’m not Santa! I’m an owl!” Baby Hare refuses to believe it and starts to cry. Soon they’re both crying, until the real  Santa shows up to talk some sense into these two. Sweet and totally hysterical! 

By Jonathan Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I'm Not Santa! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Baby Owl is back in this follow-up to the highly successful I'm Not Cute!and I'm Not Scared! Baby Owl is taking a Christmas Eve stroll though the woods with his sledge, when Baby Hare mistakes him for Santa. "I'm not Santa!" Baby Owl insists, and a comic Christmas tale unfolds. 'Absolutely hilarious' - Kirkus 'Made me laugh out loud ...a delight' - The Observer


Book cover of Do Unto Otters: A Book about Manners

Constance Lombardo Why did I love this book?

New neighbors have moved into the forest—they’re otters, and this news has thrown rabbit into a tizzy. But Owl volunteers to help by going over some basic manners! With lines like “It simply means treat otters the same way you’d like otters to treat you,” this book is certifiably hysterical. Keller has a way of making every moment a source of humor- with diagrams, speech bubbles, and lively illustrations that have a wonderfully retro feel. Extra points for lots of puns (one of the Otters is reading Harry Otter!) Plus it turns out Otter can say please in five languages! Looks like everything’s gonna be okay. 

By Laurie Keller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do Unto Otters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you."—Socrates (the Greek philosopher), circa 470-399 B.C.

Mr. Rabbit's new neighbors are Otters. OTTERS! But he doesn't know anything about Otters. Will they get along? Will they be friends? Just treat otters the same way you'd like them to treat you, advises wise Mr. Owl. And so begins Mr. Rabbit's reflection on good manners.

In her smart, quirky style Laurie Keller highlights how to be a good friend and neighbor—just follow the Golden Rule! This title has Common Core connections.

A Junior Library Guild Selection…


Book cover of I'm a Shark

Constance Lombardo Why did I love this book?

Shark is a totally awesome shark. And that must mean he isn’t afraid of anything, right? Right! Shark is not scared of dinosaurs or bears or the dark! He loves talking about how fearless he is (after making sure there are no spiders nearby.) Shark and I have one thing in common, and I’m not going to say what it is, but… can someone tell me if there’s a spider nearby? (Run away!!) Cartoon-y and super fun illustrations help make this a very enjoyable, hysterical read-aloud! 

By Bob Shea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I'm a Shark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shark's not afraid of anything. The dark? Nah. A big mean bear? Don't make him laugh! But there is one thing that even Shark fears...Can you guess what it is?


Book cover of The Doghouse

Constance Lombardo Why did I love this book?

The Doghouse reads like a suspense-filled horror movie, with all the scariness centered around…the mysterious Doghouse! Adorable animals are playing together when their ball rolls into the doghouse. Oh, no! Well, someone has to go get it. But who in the world is brave enough? After Mouse convinces Cow, Pig, and Duck to go in, he is the last creature standing. Will Mouse summon the nerve to find out what’s going on in there? Boldly rendered and charming illustrations make this book extra-appealing. The cover featuring a mouse in a Home-Alone type face-clutching pose was enough to sell me, but come inside and see what’s really happening in…The Doghouse! 

By Jan Thomas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mouse, Pig, Cow, and Duck are playing a carefree game of ball when (horror of horrors!) their ball gets kicked into . . . THE DOGHOUSE. Who will risk a run-in with scary Dog to get it back? Hysterical high anxiety ensues as Mouse volunteers each animal to do the dirty work - but you'll never believe what's really going on in the doghouse!

With Jan Thomas's fun, fresh art and priceless animal expressions, this timeless tale of fear and friendship will have young readers howling.


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Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

By Linda MacKillop,

Book cover of Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

Linda MacKillop Author Of Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

For decades I have volunteered in different capacities, helping the hurting and those living on the margins by tutoring and teaching literacy to the formally incarcerated or homeless, teaching parenting in a maximum-security jail, and teaching ESL to resettled immigrants. Because my own suburban father fell into homelessness at the end of his life due to depression, job losses, divorce, and more, I feel tremendous compassion for anyone in this situation. And as the mother of four grown sons, we filled our home with books—especially books that taught compassion so our sons would grow into men with big hearts towards others. I believe we succeeded.

Linda's book list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers

What is my book about?

Home isn’t always what we dream it will be.

Eleven-year-old Sierra just wants a normal life. After her military mother returns from the war overseas, the two hop from home to homelessness while Sierra tries to help her mom through the throes of PTSD.

When they end up at a shelter for women and children, Sierra is even more aware of what her life is not. The kind couple who run the shelter, Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin, attempt to show her parental love as she faces the uncertainties of her mom’s emotional health and the challenges of being the brand-new poor kid in middle school. The longer she stays at the shelter, the more Sierra realizes she may have to face an impossible choice as she redefines home.

Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

By Linda MacKillop,

What is this book about?

Home isn’t always what we dream it will be. 

Eleven-year-old Sierra just wants a normal life. After her military mother returns from the war overseas, the two hop from home to homelessness while Sierra tries to help her mom through the throes of PTSD.  

When they end up at a shelter for women and children, Sierra is even more aware of what her life is not. The kind couple who run the shelter, Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin, attempt to show her parental love as she faces the uncertainties of her mom’s emotional health and the challenges of being the brand-new…


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