Picture Books 10 for 10!


Once again I’m participating in Cathy Mere’s “Picture Books 10 For 10” (#pb10for10). This time around I decided to choose picture books that cause us to crack up, giggle, and belly laugh. Laughter in the classroom is such an instant way to build community and forge connections.

So here is my tribute to “Ten Picture Books That Make Us Laugh!”


Interrupting-Chicken-Book-Cover  “Interrupting Chicken”  by David Ezra Stein is the hilarious tale of a father trying to share a bedtime story with his little one, who is sooo excited that he just can’t help himself from interrupting his dad time after time.  This is a great read aloud, especially with the unpredictable outbursts throughout the story.  A 2011 Caldecott Award Honor book, “Interrupting Chicken” is not only funny, but embeds within it a lesson in manners and patience.


The Day the Crayons Quit “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers was not only a hysterical account of the plight of a box of crayons, it made for a wonderful addition to my persuasive texts collection.  Written as a series of letters to their owner, Duncan, his crayons have decided to revolt against what they each feel is unjust treatment.  And let’s face it, it stands to reason that Yellow and Orange Crayons are no longer speaking because they each believe they are the true color of the sun!


Scaredy Squirrel  I first came to know the “Scaredy Squirrel” series by Melanie Watt when I was training to be a literacy coach. We had gone to visit in a second grade classroom and at the back, by the classroom library, was a HUGE Scaredy Squirrel display. There were several different titles featured, writing that students had done based on Scaredy Squirrel read alouds, and as I ventured over to have a closer look, I was immediately surrounded by about half a dozen eight-year-olds, all singing Scaredy’s praises, asking me if I had read any of the books and recommending their favorites.  I picked up one  (the first one, as one student told me, was “the most logical place to start!”) and I was hooked! This series is about finding your inner strength and be willing to take risks. In the end, who wouldn’t love a bushy-tailed hypocondriac rodent, with a little OCD?!


That Is Not a Good Idea! I am a HUGE Mo Willems fan to begin with, so if I have to narrow it down to just one of his books, I’ll go with one of his newer titles, “That Is NOT a Good Idea!”  In typical Willems style, this book builds big anticipation throughout it, with a funny twist at the end that even I didn’t see coming! No spoilers, though! I highly recommend you check this one out!


It's a Book While I have not used this in my classroom (spoiler alert: it does include the word ‘jackass’ and I’m pretty sure it is meant as a double entendre! Ha, ha!), I have shared this book with the folks in the graduate literacy courses I teach and they think it is a complete HOOT! For bibliophiles everywhere, this book, (you know, the print kind where you turn actual pages!), is a tribute to the “hold-in-your-hand, smell-the-newness, and hear-the binding-snap-for-the-first-time” stories that are still holding their own in an age filled with technology and digital media.


I Want My Hat Back  This Is Not My Hat Ok, I admit it… I’m trying to squeeze in a “two for the price of one” with this one! My students and I fell in love with “I Want My Hat Back” and we were so eager to get our hands on the follow-up picture book and 2013 Caldecott Medal winner by Jon Klassen, “This Is Not My Hat.”  Talk about texts that use illustrations to their fullest advantage!  The storyline (and the humor!) is conveyed through the pictures, which also lets the reader in on the jokes.  Kids will beg you to read these over and over again!


Pete the Cat This picture book made my list this year for the simple fact that it makes kids smile! Every. Single. Time.

Its infectious rhythm and song will have kids rockin’ on the edge of their seats. I highly recommend taking time to go to: harpercollinschildrens.com/petethecat to listen to the audio of this book (and the rest of the Pete the Cat books).  It is TOTALLY worth it to hear the songs sung on the website!  Warning: You WILL be singing it all day long! 🙂


Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great I shared this book with a class of eight-year-olds one Wednesday during our weekly “Picture Book Palooza!” at the recommendation of my friend, Bailey, their second grade teacher.  It’s a classic “the grass is always greener” tale with smart comic relief thrown in. Goat has been agitated since Unicorn showed up on the scene and feels that everything Unicorn has and does is better.  Then one day, Goat discovers that Unicorn has some envious feelings of his own and together they dream of using their unique superpowers to rid the world of evil.


Wolfie the Bunny  Written by one of my favorite picture book authors, Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora, “Wolfie the Bunny” is the story of a baby wolf adopted by a family of bunnies. Wolfie’s sister, Dot, seems to be the only member of the family concerned that their new addition might actually, you know, EAT THEM! Dot spends the majority of the book trying to get her family to see the error of their ways, but when the chips are down, Wolfie might actually save the day.



Book-With-No-Pictures   Hmmm… DOES a picture book with no pictures really qualify as a picture book?! If it’s “The Book With No Pictures” by B.J. Novak it does! Kids listening to you read this book are going to ask you to show it to them to prove what you’re reading is really in the book because, “Here is how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say.”

And then they’ll ask some other unsuspecting person to read it to them. How do I know? That’s what they did to me- and about six more people after me! It’s a new picture book favorite… minus the illustrations. 😉


The Monster at the End of This Book Here is my homage to funny picture books of my youth! “The Monster at the End of This Book”  by Jon Stone is one of those books that elicited the “read it again!” request immediately after my mom and I recovered from belly laughs all the way through to the last page. Page after page, Grover begged us to not turn another page, but did we listen?! Heck, no! This book is the literary equivalent to someone wiggling their finger 2 millimeters away from your ear; you just can’t keep a straight face! Extra points if you can do Grover’s voice while reading it! 😉

I hope you enjoy these titles as much as I have and please be sure to visit the rest of the Picture Book 10 For 10 Community at: http://www.reflectandrefine.blogspot.com

Happy Reading!

8 thoughts on “Picture Books 10 for 10!

  1. Great list Jenn! These have all definitely made me laugh out loud time and time again! Two 2015 titles that would fit this list are Good Night Already! and This Book Just Ate My Dog! If you haven’t read them yet, I hope you’ll seek them out! Hilarious…and super fun to read aloud!

  2. I love seeing this list of books! It’s so important to have books that make me smile. A few that I need to check out including The Unicorn and Interrupting Chickens. Thanks for making me smile this morning.

  3. I love your list and the fact that you focused on joy! It is SO critical that we focus on the laughter and fun that picture books can bring to our lives. My fourth graders love these books, too!!

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