Start reading funny bedtime stories to your kids. (Go to FUNNY PICTURE BOOKS if you have children under age six.) Or pick some funny books from this list and encourage your child to read the one that looks the silliest.
Who doesn’t love to laugh and giggle through a story, right?
And in my opinion, any book that gets a child to read — to practice reading — is GOOD. Practice makes better. (Plus, they won’t be reading Captain Underpants forever!)
Here’s a huge list of my favorite funny chapter books for growing readers ages six to sixteen. I’ve indicated the age range for each book and marked if it’s a series. Because series are the BEST! Once you like the first book, you can keep reading books in the series.
Funny Books for Kids
Narwhal is exuberant to meet Jellyfish, his new imaginary friend who is imagining Narwhal, too. You’ll love their carefree adventures — forming a pod, having parties, eating waffles, and imagining. This is a feel-good friendship adventure told in graphic (cartoon) format that kids love! (Next in the series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt.)
Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks (ages 6 – 9) series
Okay, this is my new favorite early graphic novel series– it’s absolutely hysterical! In this first book, Bird’s over-confident, laissez-faire character pairs perfectly with Squirrel’s logical, fearful one. The duo crash land in the Penguin world where Bird is thought to be the “Chosen One” meant to save the penguins from the Great Whale. And it goes to his head. Until he realizes he’s about to be sacrificed… (see also: best chapter book series for 2nd graders)
Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon (ages 6 – 9) series
Dory is one of my favorite book characters because her imagination is THE BEST! She has three imaginary friends: one monster friend, one fairy godmother that’s actually not a lady, and one bad lady nemesis. This book is totally hilarious and you’ll love the child-like illustrations — it’s a favorite chapter book series for second graders. See all the Dory books here. (see also: best chapter book series for 2nd graders)
The Bad Guys #1 by Aaron Blabey (ages 6 – 8) series
Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers by John Dougherty (ages 7 – 9)
Hamster Princess Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon (ages 6 – 9) series
What a HILARIOUS remix of Sleeping Beauty. In this awesome retelling, the princess realizes she can’t die until she’s 12 so therefore, she must be INVINCIBLE!! (All of the books in this series are laugh out loud funny.) Guess what she does because of her invincibility? Everything dangerous, of course. Until her 12th birthday arrives… My daughter and I’ve read all the books in this series and LOVE them.
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara (ages 7 – 10) series
Hysterical and totally believable (NOT) . . . that is if your goldfish dies and you bring him back to life only it doesn’t work because he becomes a zombie. Now that he’s a zombie, he can mesmerize you with his powerful eyes and you’ll do anything he wants. Watch out!
Bad Kitty: Puppy’s Big Day by Nick Bruel (ages 7 – 10) series
A KID-FAVORITE and one of mine, too!! It’s delightful to read a series where every book is consistently good. Well, in this case, hilariously good. Bad Kitty is angry so Puppy calls for help–Uncle Murry to the rescue! Only Uncle Murry’s in for some trouble when he takes Puppy out of the house –without a leash, or a poop bag, or a license! Insert sarcastic messages of cat awesomeness from you-know-who and inventive new canine characters at the pound, and you have the perfect story for beginning readers. (see also: best book series for 3rd graders)
Get to Work, Hercules! (Myth-O-Mania) by Kate McMullan (ages 7 – 10) series
This book got us hooked on the Myth-O-Mania series. It’s so hilarious! Hades narrates the TRUE stories of the Greek Myths with panache and sarcasm. (Apparently, his younger brother Zeus is a big fat liar and edited all the myths to make himself look good.) In this story, Hades watches over his young, not-too-smart nephew, Hercules whom Hera has it out for.
Captain Awesome by Stan Kirby (ages 6 – 9) series
Can Eugene aka. Captain Awesome, save the town from villains without revealing his secret identity? Totally funny — and a great action-packed adventure.
Mr. Pants Slacks, Camera, Action! by Scott McCormick, illustrated by R. H. Lazzell (ages 6 – 9) series
Mal and Chad Belly Flop! by Stephen McCranie (ages 6 – 9) series
A hilarious graphic novel book series about Mal, a young inventor, and his best sidekick, his dog Chad. Perfect for growing readers who love adventure and laughing.
Monkey Me and the New Neighbor by Timothy Roland (ages 6 – 9) series
Clyde turns into a mischievous monkey when he gets excited – which ends up being a big disaster when he’s in school. To make matters worse, his principal moves NEXT DOOR. How will he hide his monkiness now? Then, he sees his new neighbor’s house being burglarized. Maybe his monkey self can help stop the robbers!?
The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey illustrated by Garry Parsons (ages 6 – 8) series
Written in increasingly funny (and alarming) letters we learn that Uncle Morton left his pet dragon for
Dragon Slayer’s Academy by Kate McMullan (ages 6 – 9) series
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (ages 6 – 9) series
A KID FAVORITE. (Not particularly a favorite of mine but . . . ) Mischievous friends George and Harold hypnotize their school principal so he believes he’s a comic book superhero, Captain Underpants, who chases bad guys in his underwear. I don’t particularly enjoy these books but I know a kazillion boys who think these are the BEST, FUNNIEST books ever.
Franny K. Stein by Jim Benton (ages 7 – 9) series
Franny is not a normal kid but a mad scientist. You’ll love these wacky and laugh-out-loud adventures about Franny’s scientific experiments gone wrong.
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of a Dare by Herobrine Books (ages 6 – 10) series
Short sentences with witty observations on life from the perspective of a Minecraft zombie will crack you up. I was surprised that this was such an entertaining, funny read. Nothing scary. Just fun. Especially for Minecraft enthusiasts. (These are free on Kindle for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.)
Doodle Adventures: The Search for Slimy Space Slugs! by Mike Lowery (ages 8 – 11) series
A space-adventure plot narrated by the hilarious Carl the Duck that invites YOU, the reader, to find the missing priceless artifact requiring bravery, heroism and drawing. Yes, drawing. Along the journey to retrieve the artifact from Captain Sleezoog (he’s a slug), you’ll be tasked with doing your part. So draw a spacesuit, pack everything you need, finalize the rocket design and get ready for adventure. It may sound contrived but it’s actually a fun, engaging adventure that any kid, artist or not, will love. Next in the series: The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!
The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell (ages 6 – 9) series
In this adventure, the chickens are asked to investigate who has stolen the blue bird’s house. And despite the chickens inability to actually investigate anything, they do discover the culprit and a solution. Very entertaining!
Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale (ages 6 – 9) series
The Big Bad Wolf aka. Wolfgang is the only suspect in the destruction of the Little Pigs house. And he doesn’t have an alibi. But he didn’t do it! He partners with the cheerful 4th Little Pig, Ferkel, (who knew!?) to find the real culprit. It’s a humorous fairy-tale mash-up and I can’t wait for more adventures in this series.
Shivers! The Pirate Who’s Afraid of EVERYTHING by Annabeth Bondor-Stone & Connor White (ages 6 – 9) series
Poor land-locked Shivers. He’s terrified of everything, especially snails. But when his sea-faring family of pirates is captured, Shivers is their only hope for rescue. Luckily he meets the daring and adventurous Margo who gets them off of dry land, teaches Shivers about sword fighting, and helps him find and rescue his parents. This book is very comical and will keep your kids thoroughly entertained.
Lulu’s Mysterious Mission by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Kevin Cornell (ages 7 – 10) series
Don’t you just love our little stinker of a heroine? The quirky narrator warns us RIGHT AWAY that there may or may not even be a mysterious mission, that the story actually about Lulu’s babysitter. And, indeed, it is about the best babysitter in the world, a trained professional, who is good with problem children like our Lulu. Hilarious and entertaining – another win for the Lulu series!
Frankie Pickle by Eric Wight (ages 7 – 10) series
Your kids will totally relate to this imaginative boy whose wild adventures are written in comic form and awesome. For example, instead of cleaning his room, Frankie becomes an explorer in the jungle.
The Misadventures of Salem Hyde Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso (ages 7 – 10) series
Salem Hyde is an impulsive but very cute little witch who gets confused between spelling words and casting spells. It’s like Calvin turned witch and female. Fantastic!
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon (ages 7 – 10) series
Hysterical! I couldn’t stop laughing! Danny Dragonbreath and his best friend, Wendell, always seem to be headed for disaster. You’ll love the comic illustrations throughout the narrative text. Great characters and plots make this series hard to put down. (see also: best book series for 3rd graders)
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (ages 8 – 12) series
One of the most popular book series ever, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, shares the hilarious stories of Greg, in his own words and drawings. Life in middle school is not easy. Greg’s here to prove it. Box set here. (see also: best book series for 4th grade list.)
Galactic Hot Dogs: Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway by Max Brallier, illustrated by Rachel Maguire and Nichole Kelley (ages 8 – 12) series
This book is filled with non-stop action and danger, potty humor, space adventures, zombie aliens, mutant worm wrestling, a misunderstood evil princess, good friends, video games, and a diabolical, hunting-them-down evil queen. Not to mention the loads of cartoon illustrations throughout and hilarious writing with a kazillion exclamation marks!!!! I see what kids are loving now — and see why it’s a recent favorite for so many kids. Book 2, The Weiner Strikes Back is also out now, too. (see also: best book series for 3rd graders)
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (ages 7+)
Silverstein’s poems always delight young readers with silliness and humor. This is a must-own book!
Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (ages 7 – 10) series
If you haven’t read these addictive and hilarious graphic novels, they are a must — anyone who has eaten lunch in school will appreciate the humor, even parents love these books.
The Perilous Princess Plot (Buckle and Squash) by Sarah Courtlauld (ages 7 – 10) series
Very sarcastic and funny humor will keep you entertained throughout this book about a silly sister obsessed with princes and her more steady sister who rescues her from a kidnapping plot. Also, the great illustrations will help beginning readers enjoy this beginning chapter book.
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary (ages 6 – 9) series
Ramona isn’t trying to be a pest, she’s just a bit mischievous. You’ll crack up at her hilarious mis-adventures. And then want to read the rest of the books in the series.
Dog Man by Dav Pinkey (ages 7 – 10) series
Weird. Quirky. Funny. I think all three describe this new graphic novel from the creator of Captain Underpants. In this story, a police officer and a dog are joined together — the top from the dog, the bottom from the officer to make: Dog Man. Dog Man solves crimes and has adventures, the likes of which will entertain you (most of you) for hours.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle by Dana Simpson (ages 8- 12) series
Sarcastic and hilarious, this is a laugh-out-loud comic book story about a precocious young girl and her reluctant unicorn “best friend”. (see also: best book series for 4th grade list.)
Big Nate Welcome to My World by Lincoln Peirce (ages 8 – 12)
Lincoln Peirce “gets” kids and their struggles. Nate’s real-life adventures will keep your kids laughing from the first page to the last. These are great for reluctant readers. Boxed set here. (see also: best book series for 4th grade list.)
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Skottie Young (ages 8 -12)
If you like quirky humor, then this is your perfect book. Because you will never believe what happens when the kids’ father goes out to get more milk. He doesn’t even get the milk but he does . . . run into pirates, aliens, and all sorts of incredible things!
The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome by Jonathan Stokes, illustrated by David Sossella (ages 8 – 12)
If Ancient Rome is your preferred destination, you’ll need your handy handbook close by to make sure you survive — which seems to be unlikely since, since as the book says, “Rome is an absolute deathtrap.” Filled with tongue and cheek hilarity while also being boldly informative about the historical topic! These are my new favorite history books.
Plants vs. Zombies by Paul Tobin and Ron Chan (ages 8 – 12) series
I wasn’t expecting these books to be so funny in an ironic way that you don’t see in children’s books. Yes, there are zombies and kids with plants trying to kill the zombies (just like the video game) but you’ll be surprised (as I was) to read comic panels like these: a man calling the police saying, “This is a mysterious call” or a woman reading her notebook with the words “no choice” and remarking, “This leaves me no choice,” HA.
Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger HUMOR / MAGICAL REALISM (series)
A funny but poignant story of middle-school angst and discovery! Unpopular Dwight can make origami Star Wars characters. When his puppet of Yoda comes to life, just like Yoda, the origami Yoda is wise and helpful during the many trials of middle school.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (ages 8 – 12) series
This has been a classic comedy book, one that has entertained kids for years and years reading how fed up Peter is of his three-year-old little brother. How can he survive his pest of a brother and fourth grade?
The Croc Ate My Homework by Stephan Pastis (ages 8 – 12) series
This cartoon book is so funny I can hardly stand it. My kids LOVED this book. It’s from the author of the Timmy Failure books and the Pearls Before Swine comic strip which curated especially for younger readers. The crocs are not the smartest and their stupidity will keep you thoroughly entertained. You’ll be sharing page after page with your family, friends, and neighbors.
Wayside School by Louis Sachar (ages 8 – 12) series
Old school humor at it’s best! These side-splitting books describe a wacky school with crazy teachers and even crazier events. (see also: best book series for 4th grade list.)
Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis (ages 8 – 12) series
Timmy is a clueless detective with a polar bear sidekick. Their adventures will make your reader laugh out loud! (see also: best book series for 4th grade list.)
The Twits by Roald Dahl (ages 8 – 12)
In the typical dark humor of Dahl, the Twits are mean and awful and we can’t help but crack up at every bad thing that comes there way.
*ALL Roald Dahl books are funny. See complete Roald Dahl book list and printable booklet here.*
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell (ages 8 – 12) series
My daughter read this first and begged me to read it immediately. It’s SO funny! And, you can learn some valuable cow trivia. But, it’s mostly the hilarious adventure of two pranksters who eventually work together to pull off the biggest prank of all time — a prank that will ensure they get April Fool’s Day off from school. (see also: best book series for 4th grade list.)
Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp (ages 8 – 12) series
I read many parts out loud to my kids while I was reading this book – they were just so funny!! Now my kids are addicted to this series, too. Quirky (really quirky) but lovable Ivy’s adventures involve a sinister ghost, a mystical jewel, and a surprising destiny. (see on best books for 5th graders list)
Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs series
Was the FunJungle’s hippo murdered? Teddy and Summer think so. Mystery, adventure, and humor will keep your readers on the edge of their seats in this unique story with quirky characters. (+ a GREAT series of books!) (see on best books for 5th graders list)
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Raina shares her growing up stories with humor and amazing art in the books: Smile, Sisters, and Drama. My daughter read Sisters four times the first week she owned it – they’re excellent books and quite addictive. Boxed set here. (see on best books for 5th graders list)
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry (ages 8 – 12) series
Hilarious. Of course. While on a class trip to Washington D.C., Wyatt and his best friend, Matt, are positive they’ve discovered a plot to blow up the White House. Wyatt’s crush, Suzanna, helps the friends make a plan, and as you can imagine, disaster and humor strike as they try to stop the bombing.
Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (ages 8 – 12) series
A funny but poignant story of middle-school angst and discovery! Unpopular Dwight can make origami Star Wars characters. When his puppet of Yoda comes to life, just like Yoda, the origami Yoda is wise and helpful during the many trials of 6th grade.
Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. by Betsy Bird (ages 8 – 12)
I chuckled through most of these stories — especially Deborah Underwood’s story that continued throughout the book about a dog and cat advice writers. Hilarious! Funny stories from award-winning and bestselling authors including Cece Bell, Sophie Blackall, Libba Bray, Shannon Hale, Lisa Graff, and Raina Telgemeier.
The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other) by Geoff Rodkey (ages 8 – 12)
What I love about this book, besides the structure which I’ll explain in a minute, is the true-to-life depiction of the twins. As the pair seeks revenge upon each other, they feel justified and sort of guilty at the same time. (Of course, this doesn’t stop either of them though.) The interjecting texts between the parents, mostly unsure of how to handle parenting these twins perfectly balance our view of the family. As I mentioned, the structure of this book is fun, making it a quick read. It’s written in interviews, text messages, photos, handwritten additions, and screenshots which is appealing to our kids who live with these styles of communications every day.
Vordak the Incomprehensible by Vordak T. Incomprehensible (ages 8 – 12) series
I haven’t laughed like this when reading a book in years – too funny! Vordak is a super-villian whose sights are now set on the SCHOOL. MUAHAHAHAHA. Both books in the series are fantastic but this is my favorite.
Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Laura Park (ages 8 – 12) series
Totally hilarious premise and fantastic writing! Rafe’s goal in middle school is to break every single rule. You can imagine how his plan will go, right? Filled with cartoon-like illustrations, this story is going to crack you up. (see this also on the best chapter books for 6th graders list)
A Whole Nother Story by Cuthbert Soup (ages 8 – 12) series
Mr. Cheeseman, his three relatively odor-free children, a psychic hairless dog, and a sock puppet named Steve are on the run. Why? Because Mr. Cheeseman invented a time machine, of course. Now they’re being chased by international super spies, top secret government agents, and a genius monkey. Dr. Cuthbert Soup, the head of the Center of Unsolicited Advice, narrates this wild adventure. (see this also on the best chapter books for 6th graders list)
Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! by Gary Northfield HUMOR
Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan
The artistic Applewhite family offers to homeschool Jake after he’s expelled from yet another school. Jake moves in with this unusual family to attend their Creative Academy but clashes with E.D., one of the not-so-artistic children. Quirky and funny.
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