A GOOD READ: Funny reads for kids

Children need to read 20 minutes a day. - image submitted
Children need to read 20 minutes a day.
— image credit: image submitted

Looking for a fun way to entertain your whole family? Get ready to laugh yourself silly with these great summer reads.

Have you ever wondered what your cat gets up to at night? Well, according to Cats’ Night Out by Caroline Stutson, they groove to the beat on Easy Street. The talented felines in this story waltz, rumba and conga their way across rooftops, fire escapes and clotheslines. The witty counting rhymes make it a perfect read-aloud book for preschoolers and the Governor General’s Award-winning illustrations by Jon Klassen (author of the equally funny Caldecott Medal winner This is not my Hat) will entertain your kids for hours while teaching them about music and dance.

Tall, handsome and dead are three words to describe lonely bachelor Mortimer, the protagonist of Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio. Mortimer is looking for the ghoul of his dreams to take to the Cupid’s Ball but, apparently, living ladies are not very impressed with fancy boxes of chocolate-coated worms. Your children will shriek with laughter at the hilarious and detailed watercolour illustrations by Scott Campbell, creator of The Great Showdowns.

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith, is an unconventional, post-modern and slightly crazy spoof of classic fairytales. The book is highly interactive as the text is sometimes upside down or shrunk and the characters walk off the pages. Stories include  “The Really Ugly Duckling,”  “Little Red Running Shorts”  and “Cinderumpelstiltskin.” Older children will enjoy shouting the Stinky Cheese Man’s catchphrase: “Run run run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Stinky Cheese Man!”

Carrying on with the smelly humour, older elementary school students will howl over David WalliamsMr. Stink. In this novel, unpopular schoolgirl Chloe Crumb befriends Mr. Stink, a homeless person, and his dog, the Duchess. The story has a strong anti-bullying message and teaches children not to judge people based on their appearance or circumstances. Walliams’ writing style is reminiscent of Roald Dahl and the book features charming illustrations by Quentin Blake, Dahl’s longtime collaborator. His collection of children’s books, including the hilarious Gangsta Granny, have sold more than one million copies in the U.K. alone.

Can you have a wild animal as a pet? In Oliver Jeffers’ colourful This Moose Belongs to Me, Wilfred owns a moose named Marcel who follows the rules of “How to Be a Good Pet” — well, most of them. One day, however, a lady claims the moose belongs to her and that his real name is Rodrigo. Jeffers’ illustrations are whimsical and funny, the painterly backgrounds brilliantly contrasting the stick-figure main characters.

Ask your local librarian for more stories that will have both you and your children rolling on the floor with laughter.


A Good Read is a column by Tri-City librarians that is published on Wednesdays. Jamie McCarthy works at Coquitlam Public Library.



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