Lots of Laughs (Not So Many Pictures)

Amy Rees
August 10, 2009

We are determined to designate reading as the fun zone. We adore a nighttime cuddle, but we sure get a lot out of a nighttime crack-up, too. For the youngest kiddos, the illustrations are a big part of the humor in books. But as your little one gets old enough to listen to chapter books, his appreciation of funny wording and loopy plot twists grows. The peace and continuity of sharing a chapter before bed is a cherished childhood moment for families -- and the fact that you are both laughing so hard that you lost your place is just a bonus!

We've shared with you our long list of chapter books favorites before, and they are all really quite amusing. A.A. Milne's precisely hilarious wording in the Pooh books alone could make the beginning, middle and end of a list of funny chapter books. But we endeavor to grow the list, so here are some more characters whose stories will bring a chuckle:

Have you met Hank the Cowdog yet? Oh, you must! Hank is rather cluelessly searching for clues in his capacity as Head of Ranch Security. You'll howl your way through Hank's misadventures in this series of tales (or is it tails? Oooooh....).

And surely you know Stuart Little, either from your own childhood or from the more recent movie. But have you gotten out E.B. White's volume for your own kids yet? Again, you must! Stuart's antics are best described in the original text, and you'll be endlessly charmed by the darling little guy as you read it together.

Both Julie and her parents in A Room with a Zoo by the brilliant Jules Feiffer will amuse you. And you'll have a new model for a "don't-be" family - always useful! Short chapters, big laughs as Julie works her way through the "this would make a good pet" kingdom. Better Julie than your child!

Another gem from your childhood that merits an original text introduction is Ramona the Pest. Starting kindergarten is a breeze when you know a pal like Ramona who did it with such flair!

There you have it: your family's very own summer laughing -- I mean, reading -- list!

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