Start reading funny bedtime stories to your kids. (Go to FUNNY PICTURE BOOKS if you have children under age six.)
Or pick some books for your child and encourage him to get started with 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, he 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 at the same time. Although Jellyfish is more serious, you’ll love their adventures — forming a pod, having parties, eating waffles, and imagining. This is a feel-good friendship adventure told in graphic (cartoon) format that I absolutely loved. Kids will, too! (Next in the series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt.)
The Bad Guys #1 by Aaron Blabey (ages 6 – 8)
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
HILARIOUS remix of Sleeping Beauty. In this (much better) retelling, the princess realizes she can’t die until she’s 18 so therefore, she must be INVINCIBLE!! (All of the books in this series are laugh out loud funny.)
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.
Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks (ages 6 – 9) series
Okay, this might be my new favorite 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.
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.
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. 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.
Einstein The Class Hamster by Janet Tashjian, illustrated by Jake Tashjian (ages 6 – 9) series
Einstein, like his namesake, is super smart. His dream is to host a game show for the class but since he’s a hamster, that’s a problem. But one student, Ned, can actually hear Einstein talking. Will Ned help Einstein get his big chance while the teacher naps? Filled with awesome cartoon-like illustrations, hilarity, and trivia, this is sure to be a hit with beginning readers. Also see the other book in the series: Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show.
Franny K. Stein by Jim Benton (ages 7 – 9) series
Franny is not a normal kid but a mad scientist. We love these stories that are wacky and laugh-out-loud funny sharing the many unfortunate antics of Franny.
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of a Dareby 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.
Doodle Adventures: The Search for Slimy Space Slugs! by Mike Lowery (ages 8 – 11) series
This book not only hooks the reader with it’s space-adventure plot and hilarious narrator Carl the Duck but it also 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 you’ll make sure (by drawing) that you’ve got a spacesuit, you’ve packed everything you need to bring, the rocket design is perfect plus has some silly (bandages!?) extras, and lots more as the adventure ensues. 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
Kids know it’s not the blue chicken (who is a bird, not a chicken) who is weird, it’s the chicken squad — they are downright wacky! 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 funny.
Monster Juice by M.D. Payne (ages 7 – 9) series
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 either so he partners with the cheerful 4th Little Pig, Ferkel, (who knew!?) to find the real culprit. I love this humorous fairy-tale mash-up and 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.
Zeke Meeks by D.L. Green and Josh Alves (ages 7- 10) series
I loved Zeke Meeks – it’s a combo of text with comics and always a good life lesson. Funny and thought-provoking.
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? And that quirky narrator who in this book warns us RIGHT AWAY that there may or may not even be a mysterious mission, that it’s 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 — it’s funny and entertaining!
The Misadventures of Salem Hyde Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso (ages 7 – 10) series
What a hilarious character! We love this graphic novel about Salem Hyde, 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. Love the comics throughout the narrative text. Great characters and plots in this recommended book series.
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 story of Greg, in his own words and drawings. Life in middle school is not easy. Greg’s here to prove it. Box set here.
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.)
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.
Monkey Me and the New Neighbor by Timothy Roland (ages 6 – 9) series
What a fun and imaginative story! 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. Then, he sees his new neighbor’s house being burglarized and finds the robbers, saving the day.
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara (ages 7 – 10) series
Hysterical and totally believable . . . if your goldfish dies and you bring him back to life. It won’t work, your goldfish will be a zombie. One that can mesmerize you with his powerful eyes and you’ll do anything he wants. Aaaah!
Bad Kitty: Puppy’s Big Day by Nick Bruel (ages 7 – 10) series
A KID-FAVORITE!! It’s delightful to read a series where every book is consistently good. Well, in this case, hilariously good. Bad Kitty is raging 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 one could pack in 153 pages.
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. (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 — since he’s the son of Zeus from another woman. LOVE it!
Dog Man by Dav Pinkey (ages 7 – 10)
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.
Unicorn on a Roll by Dana Simpson (ages 8 – 12) series
Remember the vain unicorn Marigold Heavenly Nostrils from the book, Phoebe and Her Unicorn? The two friends are back in this hilarious graphic novel sequel with more funniness and fantastic growing-up poignant life lessons. My kids and I adore these characters and love this new book. It’s one we’ll read over and over again.
Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Skottie Young
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 in to pirates, aliens, and all sorts of incredible things! Totally hilarious.
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.
Unicorn vs. Goblins Another Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson (ages 8 – 12) series
My family thinks I’m nuts because this book had me laughing out loud LOUDLY. (I think I’m turning into a cackler!?!) And when my daughter read it, she couldn’t help but share every few pages — because it’s just so darn funny. Simpson perfectly entertains readers with her sparkly illustrations and witty dialogue. You’ll love the vain unicorn, Marigold, and her best friend, Phoebe. Add this to your must-own book list. It’s meant to be reread multiple times.
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 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.
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.
Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! by Gary Northfields (ages 8 – 12)
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.
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!)
To Kick a Corpse by Tom Angleberger (ages 7 – 10) series
Irreverent and wildly appealing humor!! Third in the series, these three friends are having trouble meeting to plot and plan since after their last (mis)adventure, Marilla’s parents said she couldn’t. But when Marilla hears about a slave master buried standing up to better control his slaves, she’s infuriated. She’s determined to right that wrong and kick him over! (other books in the series: Poop Fountain! and The Rat With the Human Face.)
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.
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 hilarity strike.
The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (Origami Yoda #3) by Tom Angleberger (ages 8 – 12) series
You’ll love this series of books! They’re poignant stories of middle-school angst and discovery. If you haven’t read the first two, it’s fine to read them out of order but probably easier if you don’t. You’ll need to know that Dwight can make origami Star Wars characters who have powers to give advice. Yes, they talk. In this story, Dwight makes a Wookiee. It’s a must-read — funny but full of meaning, too.
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.
Big Nate Welcome to My World by Lincoln Peirce (ages 8 – 12) series
I think the Big Nate comics are even better than the novels — they are just so stinking funny! Lincoln Peirce “gets” kids and their struggles — the episodes will keep both you and your kids cracking up.
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.) The interjecting texts between the parents, mostly unsure of how to handle different situations are perfect to balance our view of the kids’ lives. As I mentioned, the structure of this book is fun, making it a quick read. Told in interviews, text messages, photos, handwritten additions, and screen shots, it’s appealing to our kids who live with these styles of communications every day. Overall, I thought The Tapper Twins to be a funny, enjoyable story.
Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs (ages 8 – 12)
Danver’s hero is Gonzo from the Muppets – he wears a Gonzo t-shirt every day and does all his school presentations on Gonzo. But, he doesn’t expect to turn into a muppet himself! Lots of laughs and filled with enjoyable comics and illustrations.
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.
Jake the Fake Keeps it Real by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, illustrations by Keith Knight
Jake fakes his way into the Music and Art Academy school where his sister already attends. He’s worried he’ll be kicked out at any moment. So he gets creative in his attempts to appear artistic. The results are hilarious.
Just Jake by Jake Marionette (ages 8 – 12) series
A humorous realistic-fiction novel with cartoon illustrations about a boy who moves to a new school and how Jake turns from loser to cool because of his art. A fun and entertaining story!
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (ages 13+)
What if a plane carrying beauty queens crashed on a desert island? And someone wrote the book about it? Well, it would be a hilarious satire with meaningful life lessons.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (ages 12+)
This is dark humor at its best! Shape-shifter, Nimona, appoints herself the sidekick to villain, Lord Ballister Blackhart. But Nimona is way more serious about real villainy than Lord Blackhart. The main characters are very well-developed and both have back-stories that make them really interesting.