Hilarious Reads for Kids of All-Ages

Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017
Nothing Rhymes with Orange, turned to an expert for help on picking out funny books for kids of all ages: His five-year-old son Henry. Steal Adam and Henry's picks this holiday season!

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ADAM: Hi, I'll be right with you after I ask my five year-old something.

Henry? Some people want to know what funny books we like. Can we talk about that? It'll go on the internet.

HENRY: It'll go on the internet?!

ADAM: Yes.

HENRY: I want to do that.

ADAM: Okay, me first.

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ADAM: This isn't a children's book, but I read it for the first time at eleven and I turned out fine. The astonishing, acrobatic use of language in this story of an ordinary man who has his planet exploded and learns his best friend is an alien (all before page 25) probably influenced my own writing more than anything else. As a kid, this book made the world seem bigger.

Now you, Henry.

HENRY: I like it when…um…in the movie? When Captain Underpants says, "Stand down, Poopypants."

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ADAM: And that movie was based on this book, right? Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dav Pilkey. Why do you like the book?

HENRY: Because it's so funny. And weird.

ADAM: What kind of funny? Smart, fancy funny, or gross, silly funny?

HENRY: Gross silly funny. Because it has Professor Poopypants.

ADAM: Okay, next!

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ADAM: My heart takes flight when I visit the comics shop, and there's a new issue of Marvel's The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. This earnestly all-ages comic is about a young woman who has both the "powers of a squirrel and the powers of a girl." Yes, she eats nuts and kicks butts, but half the time she prevails by listening to her enemies and getting to the root of what they're really upset about.

What is this book by Laurie Keller called?

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HENRY: The Scrambled States of America. It's about them changing states. The states go to different places.

ADAM: They get all mixed up and rearranged?

HENRY: Yeah.

ADAM: And do they like it?

HENRY: Uh, no.

ADAM: How come?

HENRY: Becaauuse…because Florida is freezing, and he doesn't like that. Minnesota got a sunburn!

ADAM: And what about Arizona? (That's where we live.)

HENRY: It's messing up her hairdo! The ocean waves.

ADAM: Do you think this is a good book for learning about the states?

HENRY: Yeah.

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ADAM: This is a perfect, utterly satisfying illustrated middle-grade novel about rival pranksters in an otherwise quiet, cow-filled town. Do you remember how much you loved the crazy one-upmanship in the short-lived 1984 Jason Bateman sitcom It's Your Move? No? You weren't born in 1973? Weird. Anyway, it's like that.

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ADAM: You asked to talk about this next one.

HENRY: I like it at the end because there's something really weird at…oh, I like that part!

ADAM: Read it.

HENRY: "Inside the Slidy Diner, the floors all…"

ADAM: Slant.

HENRY: "Slant, and the tables tilt. When a sticky bun rolls onto the floor…"

ADAM: Ethelmae.

HENRY: "Ethelmae sweeps it up and serves it again…to you." Ewwww!

ADAM: Tell everyone what that sticky bun looks like.

HENRY: Poo-poo!

ADAM: What's stuck to it?

HENRY: Flies and hair.

ADAM: Is this a little bit of a funny book but also a little bit of a spooky book?

HENRY: Yeah, it is.

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ADAM: Here's a comic that is decidedly not all-ages, but great for YA readers—Marvel's ongoing Runaways series. I loved Rowell's Fangirl, so I was pretty excited when I heard she was reviving this series about kids and young adults whose lives were upended the night they learned their parents were a cabal of supervillains.

If you know Rowell, you know this series is going to be heartfelt and dramatic; but also suffused with such a natural, graceful humor that will make every character feel like your new best friend.

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ADAM: Was President Taft a large man? And was his bathtub too small?

HENRY: Yeah. He tries to get out!

ADAM: Do they call everybody in the cabinet to try different plans to get him out of the tub?

HENRY: Yeah. The bathtub exploded!

ADAM: Who wants to make the bathtub explode?

HENRY: The secretary of war! Kaboom.

ADAM: And finally they all pull on President Taft's arms and legs and…pop!

HENRY: Ohhh! I can see his butt!

ADAM: (Note to parents: You can't quite see his butt.)

What hilarious books for young readers would you recommend? Share it with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Great Gifts for Middle-Grade Readers
Enchanting Picture Books to Delight The Youngins
Coffee Table Books for Bookworms

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Daisy (new)

Daisy Picture books- or any books- by Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, or Maurice Sendak. They're all wonderful.

message 2: by James (new)

James Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman

message 3: by Obi (last edited Dec 01, 2017 11:53PM) (new)

Obi Donaldo Purple hibiscus by Chimamanda. This is a very nice book for children but It would have been better if it also has an audio for download

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooookay, I read that title (Nothing rhymes with orange) and I got very nostalgic.

Picture it, 1970. Living Island, and a wacky witch is singing a song very much like that title, but with some interesting variations.

"Oranges, poranges, Who said?
"Oranges, poranges, Who said?
"Oranges, poranges, Who said there ain't no rhyme for oranges?..

Just mentioning that likely puts me in the grandmother category, but since I'm not a grandmother, I thought I'd mention it with people who might have parents who remember it.

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