What makes your child laugh? Is it raspberries on the tummy of your infant? Your toddler dressing up in grown-up clothes? A stream of knock-knock jokes from your preschooler? Or sophisticated puns from your school-ager? According to the blog Ageing Healthily, Happily & Youthfully, “the average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day and for the average 40-year-old it might be four times.” Why is the world of childhood such a funny place?
Children seem to find joy in both the order and disorder of the world. In Whose Toes Are Those?, the pleasure is in solving the puzzle: looking at the big gray toes and nose, carefully turning the flap, and finding out that it really is a hippo. What a delight to be right!
But does moose begin with the letter Z? Of course not. In Z is for Moose, everyone but our poor Moose knows the alphabet from A to Z, and he just can’t wait for his turn to appear. Preschoolers howl as Moose tries to make his way onto every page, but they also sympathize when he loses his rightful turn to Mouse.
Laughter in literature can come in a more complex package for young school-age readers in Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire! Consider kidnapped hippie parents, a marmot translator, and detective bunnies, one of whom is the author of the book. With the hilarious antics of all the characters, the author introduces the element of satire.
Chances are, these selections of children’s literature will have you laughing out loud with your own young reader, and you’ll add to the count for adult laughter.
By Susan C. Brenner, EdD.
Llama Llama Zippity-Zoom, Written and Illustrated by Anna Dewdney, Infants and Toddlers
Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, Written and Illustrated by Phillipe Coudray, School Age
Creepy Carrots, Written by Aaron Reynolds, Illustrated by Peter Brown, Preschool
Poopendous, Written by Artie Bennett, Illustrated by Mike Moran, School Age
The Other Side of Town, Written and Illustrated by Jon Agee, Preschool
One Cool Friend, Written by Toni Buzzeo, Illustrated by David Small, School Age