Always Good for a Laugh

Angie McDonald
November 4, 2009

The great thing about being the parent of little kids is having an excuse to get goofy. Kooky games, slapstick performances and talking in squeaky voices or low drawls are all surefire routes to sending our kids into fits of giggles.

Reading aloud to our children is also another rich and rewarding way to have fun together. Especially when the stories we choose have a certain, shall we say, je ne sais silly.

A well-written book with just the right twist of humor is a delight for both children and adults. We've compiled some of our favorite funny series here, some classics, some newer. Laughter makes a family closer, so, if you haven't already, check these out and prepare yourself for much merriment.

Amelia Bedelia -- Poor Amelia. She's a literal kind of gal who completes every single task her employer, Mrs. Rogers, asks of her. From drawing the drapes, where she actually sits herself down and sketches the curtains, to dressing the steaks, where she gussies up nice cuts of meat in clothes, Amelia gets it all wrong. She's earnest though, and bakes amazing pies, so Mr. and Mrs. Rogers keep her. Through this series of stories (25 and counting), Amelia maintains the same amicable disposition as she fumbles along trying to please the people in her life.

Curious George -- Everyone's familiar with the monkey whose inquisitiveness gets him into trouble over and over. Whether he's off on an adventure simply because he can't help but follow every whim or because he's trying to do right by the Man with the Yellow Hat, he gets into pickle after pickle. Yet he somehow always manages to find his way back into the Man's good graces. While it might be argued that a monkey wandering around New York City probably needs closer supervision, the ridiculousness of his predicaments makes this series great fun.

Harry the Dirty Dog -- The mischievous little dog who hates to be clean has a universal appeal to adults who grew up with the Harry books, and to children as well. In the first book, he hides the scrubbing brush so his family can't give him a bath and hilarity ensues while, trying to escape the evil bathwater, he gets dirtier and dirtier. So dirty, in fact, that his family doesn't recognize him when he's found. In Harry by the Sea he gets tangled in stinky seaweed and in No Roses for Harry! he ends up in an ugly floral sweater that he spends the story trying to escape. The Harry books have just enough humor to tickle your and your childrens' funny bones and sport cool, retro illustrations too.

Duck and Cow Books -- The book that started it all, Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type, is a short, spare, gem of a story wherein a barn full of clever ducks and cows outwit Farmer Brown so he'll provide them with electric blankets. The series continues with Farmer Brown trying to leave for vacation, construct a corn maze and other rural enterprises, only to have his insubordinate livestock, led by the power-tripping Duck, foil him time and again. The Duck and Cow books are brilliant reads, both droll and silly and great for anyone with even a sliver of a sense of humor.

From the Parents

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