Humorous Children's Lit

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

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This book is over a decade old now, but still highly acclaimed, and I believe has become a children’s classic in those few years. It does have a wonderful message that I greatly appreciate as someone who struggles with mental health, confidence issues, and anxiety.

-You don’t have to accept things as they are, face-value (ba-du-dun… bad pun). Sometimes you just need a fresh and new perspective!

The pout-pout fish needed help in creating a new outlook on life; thank goodness the kiss-kiss fish came along to change his point-of-view! This story is still a bestseller for good reasons. It has catchy rhymes, unusual sea creatures, and funky words. Kids will have a blast reading along with, “blub, bluub, bluuub”!

Great read, lots of fun. I am thrilled my friend, Shayla sent this and the sequel to my baby. We love book mail!!

Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel by Adam Rubin

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I am so glad there’s a sequel to Dragons Love Tacos. My little family and I thoroughly enjoyed the first one, and you can tell just by the title, Dragons Love Tacos 2, the Sequel, that Adam Rubin hits it out of the park with his zany humor once again. The amazing duo teamed up again for this book, and I would be remiss if I didn’t compliment the funky illustrations by Daniel Salmieri.

The boy needs to help his dragon friends, because tragically the world has eaten every…single…taco. They are extinct, no more, kaput. (This is a play on the repetitive humor Rubin utilizes in the story.) Luckily, the boy has a spare time machine in the garage, so he and a few of the dragons travel to the past to save a taco “seed” to plant in the present. Along the way, though, they almost mess up their mission more than once: spicy salsa consumption, fire blasts to the time vehicle, traveling too far and going prehistoric, and visiting alternative time lines. There’s fun and laughs on every page, and I highly recommend pairing this book with the prequel.

Actually, we were given this book before buying or reading the first one. Guess what? It still works. We giggled at the silly dragons, and the recap “dragons love tacos” covered the necessities.

Making a Friend by Tammi Sauer

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I love anything by Tammi Sauer! Sweet and short stories that shoot straight into your heart; she always write wonderful books that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Speaking of warm and fuzzy. . .

Beaver has the very best intentions in his attempts to make friends with the forest animals. But, his efforts always fall flat. But he’s very good at constructing things, so he commits to (literally) making a friend out of snow. The helpful Raccoon comes along to offer his aide, and what should they discover? By the end of the story, both sad little animals have made a true friend.

Sigh, see? The warm fuzzies have overtaken you, right?

Nibbles, the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett

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Nibbles is a very cute, fast pace, and interactive story your young reader will want to read again and again. The title character eats his way into three classic children’s tales: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack in the Beanstalk. He causes quite a scene (and a mess!) in each story, but the Golden Goose from Jack in the Beanstalk comes to the rescue by capturing Nibbles and placing him back in his crate. BUT, as your child flips the extra pages, you find out he has escaped again! Nibbles ventures out to create more chaos in the world!

The interactive component comes from the “extra” pages that make up the three interrupted classics as well as Nibbles’s crate. The little monster also plays “hide-and-seek” on one set of pages. I know my son will be able to fully enjoy this book when he gets a little older and has stronger fine motor skills. For now, mommy turns the pages for him, and Luke happily follows along!

My aunt gave this book to my son on his first birthday. She said it was new, fun favorite of hers and her grandchildren. She is quite the bibliophile, and I always take her recommendation. And this time was no exception!

Little Suzy's Zoo: Rainy Day Friends by Nancy Parent

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Perfect weather to get a shot for this book! “Little Suzy’s Zoo: Rainy Day Friends” is a short and sweet board book. The story follows some of the familiar characters of the “Little Suzy’s Zoo” crew. It begins with Little Suzy friends worried their turtle buddies will get wet in the impending rain. How stinking cute is that?! Now, I love turtles 🐢, so this subject struck a chord with me. Funny plot + adorable characters = 👍
What’s not to love about friends caring about others?

Little Suzy’s Zoo is full of cutie-patooties. What beloved cast of characters from your childhood still sticks with you? I loved reading/watching Arthur and Berenstain Bears.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

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You looking for a silly and hilarious picture book? Look no further, my dears! Dragons Love Tacos will strike a chord (and your funny bone!) with everyone in the family, adult and child alike.

Adam Rubin’s writing style, the tone of his language, is so casual and modern; it’s almost as if he’s just having a conversation with the reader. (Not to toot my own horn, but I actually received a similar comment from the very first blog I wrote: “your writing is easy to read- good flow to it with fun expressiveness”.) I think that element enhances the unique humor of the book. The narrator actually calls out dragon characters to ask him a question. Reminded me of when the writers of Deadpool had Wade Wilson “break down the fourth wall”. The author uses multiple tools of humor, from over-explaining, repetition, topical, and situational. One could say it is a G-version of a Monty Python comedy routine.

And the illustrator did a fabulous (and equally important) job of adding to the chuckles with awesome artwork! Bam! In your face with creativity and originality. This book is highly popular for very good reasons. It will leave both you and your children in a giggle-fit.

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by Kimberly & James Dean

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I have loved the “Pete the Cat” series since reading the first one as a teacher to my first grade class back in 2012. He is such a fun and original character! Well, there was a sale at Barnes & Noble when I picked this one up. (Of course, if you know me, I almost never pay full price for . . . well, anything! #bargainbuyer)

“Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes” has great rhyming text, bright illustrations, and a quick-paced story. Classic story structure pillars just like the first one has which have held it up as a bestseller and popular pick. This cupcake sequel, though, has a lot more characters in it! The cast is quite a zoo including a squirrel, turtle, alligator, platypus, toad, and (of course) cat. All of Pete’s friends are gathering for a party later in the day, so Pete and Gus, the platypus, are making cupcakes for the occasion. They bake and decorate 10 treats, but 2-by-2 they disappear from the windowsill where they had been cooling! Who is the culprit? Pete and Gus must follow clues and play detective to find out, and they run into a couple of wrong guesses along the way!

Fun story and adorable illustrations! I plan on adding more “Pete” books to my son’s library. Tell me, which one should I check out next? If you don’t JIVE with the Pete series, then tell me about another series. I’m all ears!

Truck, Truck, Goose by Tammi Sauer

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Truck, Truck, Goose written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Zoe Waring is an adorable picture book suitable for emergent readers. I have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know the author personally at SCBWI meetings, so I learned a little more background behind the story directly from her.
She explained her desire to write a book in which even the earliest readers could read on their own. Simple text, sure. But I can just imagine his proud look as Luke finishes a whole book all by himself.

The book relies mostly on the illustrations to drive the story. Goose packs a picnic for himself (he seems to carry out his entire house’s contents), and he sets up in a very inconsiderate location as traffic gets backed up. The laid back main character fixes his mess AND gets everyone back in a good mood with a little help from the ice cream man. All sorts of specialized trucks are represented in the illustrations: tow, fire, moving, dump, cement, semi, monster, trash, etc. I’m sure your little one will pour over the detailed pictures finding those differences.

Some background on the background (see what I did there?): I used my grandpa’s old Ford truck. While brainstorming in front of Luke’s library, I knew right away I wanted to use an actual truck. Happy coincidence the book cover matched fairly well!

What was your child’s first book he/she read solo? What about first spoken words? I swear Luke says “mama”, but he’s just asking for milk.

Go Fish! by Tammi Sauer

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Here goes Goose again! Go Fish is the (kind of) sequel to Truck, Truck, Goose. Sequel in the sense the characters carry over from the first book. But this is a stand alone story as well. Tammi Sauer wrote this with the same purpose -a sweetly simple book for emergent readers to read all on their own. The animal friends go to the pond but have no luck catching any fish. They catch a lot of funny items along the way, though. Finally, they hook a whopper and reel it in, but it’s too big! This monster fish scares the animals off the dock, but they are still hungry! What do YOU do when dinner plans fall through? Call for a pizza delivery of course! The ending has a funny twist with the monster fish wanting a pizza slice himself. They oblige and all go swimming together. Just adorable.

My son’s little library is stocked with the cutest books, and these sweet additions came directly from the author, signed copies and everything! (Authors are my rockstars!) Like I said in yesterday’s post, I met Tammi through the SCBWI, and at one of the meetings she presented the new board book version of Truck, Truck, Goose along with the brand new sequel Go Fish. I learned board books cost more to produce, so that version usually takes longer to come out. (Publishers probably want to see if a book is going to be profitable.) But how could any of Tammi’s and Zoe’s collaborations not be successful? Good job, ladies! Keep up the great work!!

When was the last time you went fishing? What is your bait preference: worms (live/plastic), lures, spinner baits, etc? What about fishing location: off the shore, dock, or boat? What’s the youngest age a child might enjoy this outdoor activity? I know my dad, an avid and lifelong fisherman, plans to take Luke ASAP.

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

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Mother Bruce by author/illustrator, Ryan T. Higgins, is straight up hilarious. First of all, the title character is that grumpy old man everyone loves, because you know deep down he’s actually sweet. Well, he gets in a pickle when his thoroughly planned out dinner recipe backfires and lands him in an unwanted parenting situation. The humor derived from both words and pictures is sure to appeal to children as well as adults. I picked up this (hardback!) copy at Barnes and Noble for EIGHT dollars during a special sale.