Humor books for third graders

Say "Ahhhhh" or "bead a rook": A mouse dentist and backward bunnies lend these books their laughs.

By GreatSchools Staff

Doctor De Soto

Doctor De Soto

Doctor DeSoto by William Steig (Square Fish, 2010)
$7.99, Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's

A very cheerful story about a mouse dentist who treats mammals bigger than himself, wearing rubbers to keep his feet dry when he’s in their mouths. William Steig’s cartoony color illustrations make up the bulk of the book, and they are nothing short of urbane and funny. The climax comes when a dapperly dressed but hungry fox comes for a new gold tooth, and the quick-witted dentist saves himself from ingestion by means of his professional skills. 32 pages.

Parents’ Choice

Camp Babymouse

Babymouse: Camp Babymouse

Babymouse: Camp Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm (Random House, 2007)
$5.99, Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's

The sixth installment of the Babymouse series finds our heroine at summer camp. She doesn’t like the great outdoors, but that fact shouldn’t get in the way of her having fun, right? Babymouse has her usual daydreams of how she’ll be the best camper around, but all she finds is trouble. Babymouse’s cabin-mates, the Buttercups, soon become frustrated with her shenanigans, as she racks up nothing but demerits for her team.

The illustrations are as fun and humorous as ever, in the familiar black, white, and pink color scheme. Graphic novels are incredibly popular with tweens and teens, so it follows that younger kids want them as well. Those for the very young — especially for young girls — are few and far between but gaining a foothold. Here is a well-established series that fills that void with a spirited, likable, adventurous character. 96 pages.

Pauline Harris

Danny, the Champion of the World

Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin, 2007)
$6.99, Amazon / IndieBound Powell's.

Kids who loved the recent movie version of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will surely agree that this edition of Danny, the Champion of the World is fabulous. Danny is a boy who has a great life with his father. He thinks he knows everything there is to know about his dad, until one day Danny learns about his father’s secret life as a poacher. If you want to know what a poacher does, and you want to laugh your way through Danny and his dad’s dealings with a bad neighbor and pheasants, you must devour this hilarious book.

Jennifer Thompson

Runny Babbit

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein (HarperCollins, 2005)
$18.99, Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's

Nonsensical wordplay will entice readers to try reading this poetry aloud. A simple switch in the beginning letters of certain words makes language fun and the resulting sounds smile-crackingly funny. 96 pages.

— Children’s Choices

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar (HarperTeen, 2004)
$6.50, Amazon / IndieBoundPowell's

Surely, Wayside School was already strange enough. The builders constructed a 30-story school sideways with the rooms piled one on top of another — except for the nonexistent 19th floor, where Miss Zarves teaches class. There's also a 13th floor, where nice Mrs. Jewls presides over her eccentric pupils. Mrs. Jewls, however, takes a maternity leave. Before she returns with her little stranger, Wayside School gets a little stranger. While reading this ridiculously funny book, children will not only be laughing — they will also be learning. 169 pages.

Parents’ Choice