Humor books for 2nd graders
It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles
by: Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by: James Stevenson - (Greenwillow Books, 2000) 160 pages.
The title, which is also the first line, sets the playful tone. Delightfully anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment, Prelutsky is the unexcelled master of word-playing nonsense. His laugh-aloud poems are rude, disrespectful, annoying and perceptive. In a word, marvelous. Childish readers, however, will read, laugh and pay him the ultimate compliment. They will memorize and repeat them with pickle relish.
Perfect for: Kids who delight in rebellious behavior.
Find It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles at your local library.
Drooling and Dangerous: The Riot Brothers Return
by: Mary Amato, illustrated by: Ethan Long - (Holiday House, 2006) 176 pages.
The hook: Three separate hilarious adventures of brothers Orville and Wilbur and their mother, who is also a school principal, will attract young readers who love silliness. With plastic bugs constantly flying, the brothers become spies and movie stars, celebrate “dwitch say,” and almost get into big trouble.
Perfect for: Siblings with a sense of fun.
Find our favorites at your local library: Drooling and Dangerous: The Riot Brothers Return, Take the Mummy and Run: The Riot Brothers are on a Roll.
by: Jon Scieszka, illustrated by: Lane Smith - (Viking Juvenile, 2004) 40 pages.
Loosely based on a variety of famous poems (“Listen, my children, and you shall hear/Of how loud noises go in your ear.”), these 21 wacky poems – accompanied by Lane Smith’s equally goofy illustrations — cover everything from the “Water Cycle” (“It’s raining, it’s pouring/For H20, it’s boring”) to anatomy (“I think that I ain’t never seen/A poem ugly as a spleen”) to parasites (“Mary had a little worm./She thought it was a chigger./But everything that Mary ate/Only made it bigger.”) The main thing you’ll learn about science is that it can be a lot of fun.
Perfect for: Kids who like a little scientific humor.
Find Science Verse at your local library.
Gooney Bird Greene
by: Lois Lowry, illustrated by: Middy Thomas - (Houghton Mifflin, 2002) 96 pages.
The hook: Gooney Bird arrives in second grade in the middle of a school day, which suits her fine. She wants to be in the center of all action — but especially of all attention. Wearing colorful, creative costumes daily, Gooney Bird soon becomes the brightest — in every sense of the word — star of second grade. Her teacher, who is trying to explain the nature of good stories to her class, tolerantly allows Gooney Bird to upstage her by telling melodramatic stories that appear to be whoppers. Declaring, “I tell only absolutely true stories,” Gooney Bird enters the annals of funny young protagonists. The format of her book is excellent for transitional readers; her stories, filtered through a fine imagination, are entertaining; and they will leave readers hoping for more.
Perfect for: Attention-seekers and their wallflower admirers.
How to Save Your Tail
by: Mary Hansen - (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2007) 93 pages.
Once upon a time, there was a verbally creative rat, Bob, who managed to save his tail by telling tall tales. Bob loved two things above all others — reading and baking cookies. One afternoon, when Bob is cornered by two hungry cats, he puts his talents to work to save himself. He enchants the cats with fanciful tales while serving up warm-from-the-oven, mouthwatering cookies alongside fresh saucers of milk. This amusing story is the perfect read-aloud that is sure to elicit a giggle or two. Young readers will quickly recognize that Bob’s tales have much in common with classic fairy tales. The illustrations provide a delightful accompaniment to the story, so bake up a batch of cookies, pour a glass of milk, curl up and enjoy this charming tale.
Perfect for: Storytellers and any child who enjoys a tall tale.
Find How to Save Your Tail at your local library.
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
by: Barbara Park, illustrated by: Denise Brunkus - (Random House, 1992) 80 pages.
Junie B. is almost 6. Almost 6 is when you start kindergarten, which is where you go to “meet friends and not watch TV,” Junie B. explains. Starting school, meeting the teacher, Mrs., and taking her first bus ever is a big deal. But smart, sassy Junie B.’s description of each step makes readers smile — and even laugh out loud.
Perfect for: Kids who need to see the lighter side of school.
Find Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus at your local library.
Down Girl and Sit: Smarter than Squirrels
by: Lucy Nolan, illustrated by: Mike Reed - (Marshall Cavendish, 2004) 68 pages.
Four hilarious stories about the adventures of two dogs told from a dog’s perspective by Down Girl. Whether it’s getting Rruff (her master) up early so he doesn’t have to hear the alarm clock, chasing squirrels and Here Kitty Kitty, or eating an entire bag of dog food in one afternoon, we see life with humans through the loving eyes of our best friends. This simply illustrated, laugh out loud chapter book will make all listeners eager for a sequel.
Perfect for: Kids who like humor stories.
Find Down Girl and Sit: Smarter than Squirrels at your local library.
Ready Freddy: Don’t Sit on My Lunch
by: Abby Klein, illustrated by: John Mckinley - (Blue Sky Press, 2005) 96 pages.
The hook: Second graders can’t get enough of this hilarious series. Both boys and girls relate to Freddy and his best friend, Jessie, who happens to be a girl. In fact, she is the star hockey player on the peewee hockey team. Readers delight in Freddy and Jessie’s antics, as Jessie tries to help Freddy get a spot on her team. Of course, no school story would be complete without a class bully. Find out if Freddy can outplay “Max the Bully” in this entertaining read.
Perfect for: Kids who like humor stories.