Encouraging That Irresistible Sound

There is one sound that is the BEST sound in the world.  It is universal.  No matter where you are, no matter how far you travel, you will never hear a sound that produces more happiness.  No one can be a Grumpy Gus in the presence of the pure unbridled joy of a child laughing with full abandon.  If you don’t love that sound, stop reading and see someone about your problem.  Seriously.   

Here.  Click on the pictures below and see what I mean.

Screenshot 2017-05-08 20.45.00

 Screenshot 2017-05-08 20.46.04  Screenshot 2017-05-08 20.47.02

You feel happier now don’t you?  And notice that you didn’t need a translator for the videos from far off lands.  We don’t even need to know why they are laughing to join in!  Laughing babies and children, the sound of joy is the most irresistible sound – it brings a smile to everyone and makes us all happy.

When I was doing story time at the public library, I found that the best story times always had the children laughing.  They liked most of the books I selected to read to them whether they were serious or funny, but the funny ones were always their favorites.  And if I read B. J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures, the children would laugh hysterically and yell “again, again” when I had finished.  My granddaughter made me read it aloud to the gathered group during our Thanksgiving celebration. 

While children were getting their faces painted at her birthday party in December, I did story time to keep them all entertained.  They giggled as we sang and read.  When we sang “Tootie Ta” they laughed.  But reading The Book With No Pictures had the same result as always – I had to read it several times and they laughed in anticipation as well as response.  These were preschoolers, but elementary school kids have the same response!  I read the book to groups in elementary schools during visits to promote summer reading.  Same result.  Not sure if I’m exaggerating?  Watch as B. J. Novak reads the book to a group of kids who already knew the story.

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Click on the photo to hear B. J. Novak read the book

You probably noticed some things about Novak’s reading.  In case you didn’t, I’ll mention them because they are extremely important.  He did NOT use a sweet, calm, put-the-kid-to-sleep, sing-song voice.  I looked up some of the books on my list to see if there were youtube videos of them being read.  AAARRRRGGGG!!!!   Most of them were dreadful.  Children want life in the story.  Read like Novak does.  Be goofy, make up voices, exaggerate your facial expressions, do the noises, and (above all) throw yourself into it!  Don’t be afraid to be silly.  You will have more fun and so will the children.

A while back I promised a list of my favorite humorous picture books.  And here it is.  If you know of others that really tickle your funny bone, share them with me!  Eventually I will compose a list of funny books for older kids and even for adults.  But don’t sit around waiting for those lists.  Start here!   

While many of the videos I found on youtube were pretty bad, I did find a few worth sharing with you.  Click on any picture in this post to be linked to a video.  But remember that reading with children next to you is the best way to experience these!


  • Arnold, Tedd                                          
    • Parts
    • More Parts                                          
    • Even More Parts
  • Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta                   
    • Snoring Beauty
  • Barnett, Mac                                           
    • President Taft is Stuck in the Bath
  • Beaumont, Karen                                  
    • I Ain’t Gonna Paint No MoreScreenshot 2017-05-08 20.50.06
  • Black, Michael Ian                                
    • Cock-a-Doodle-Doo-Bop!
  • Black, Michael Ian                                
    • Naked!
  • Bromley, Nick                                      
    •  Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite
  • Carlson, Nancy                                    
    •  Sometimes You Barf
  • Carnavas, Peter                                     
    • The Children Who Loved Books
  • Cronin, Doreen                                      
    • Click, Clack, Moo:  Cows That Type
    • Diary of a Spider
    •  Giggle, Giggle, Quack
  • Daywalt, Drew                                      Screenshot 2017-05-08 20.49.37
    • The Day the Crayons Quit
    • The Day the Crayons Came Back
    • The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
  • Degman, Lori                                      
    • Cock-a-Doodle-Oops!
  • Droyd, Ann                                          
    • If You Give a Mouse an iPhone: A Cautionary Tale
  • Duddle, Jonny                                    
    • The Pirate Cruncher
  • Emmett, Jonathan                            
    • The Santa Trap
  • Ericson, Nora                                    
    • Dill & Bizzy: An Odd Duck and a Strange Bird
  • Frazee, Marla                                  
    • The Boss Baby
    • The Bossier Baby
  • Greenberg, Nicki                              
    • The Naughtiest Reindeer
  • Hall, Michael                                        
    • Frankencrayon
  • Harris, Robie H.                                  
    • Maybe a Bear Ate It!
  • Haughton, Chris                                   
    • Shh! We Have a Plan
  • Higgins, Ryan T.                                      Screenshot 2017-05-08 21.32.59
    • Mother Bruce
    • Hotel Bruce
    • Be Quiet!
  • Hills, Tadd                                                 
    • Duck and Goose
    • Duck and Goose Go to the Beach
  • Jeffers, Oliver                                        
    •  Stuck
  • Kelley, Marty                                          
    • Fall is Not Easy
  • Kemp, Anna                                         
    • The Worst Princess
  • Klassen, Jon                                          
    • I Want My Hat Back
  • Lefebvre, Jason                                   
    • Too Much Glue
  • Lehrhaupt, Adam                                   
    • Chicken in Space
  • McDonnell, Patrick                                   
    • Perfectly Messed Up Story
  • Munsch, Robert                                      
    • The Paper Bag Princess
  • Noll, Amanda                                           
    • I Need My Monster
    • Hey, That’s MY Monster!
  • Novak, B. J.                                              
    • The Book With No Pictures
  • Offill, Jenny                                              
    • 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore
  • Parish, Peggy                                          
    •  Amelia Bedelia
  • Perl, Erica S.                                             
    • Totally Tardy Marty
  • Plant, David J.                                          
    • Hungry Roscoe
  • Plourde, Lynn                                         
    • You’re Wearing THAT to School?
  • Ransom, Jeanie Franz                            
    • The Crown Affair
  • Rosenthal, Amy Krouse                          
    • Chopsticks
    • Spoon
  • Rubin, Adam                                             
    • Dragons Love Tacos
  • Scieszka, Jon                                            
    • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs               Screenshot 2017-05-08 21.45.54
    • Battle Bunny                                     
  • Shannon, David                                     
    • A Bad Case of Stripes
  • Shea, Bob                                                  
    • Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great
  • Slobodkina, Esphyr                                
    • Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their
    • Monkey Business
  • Smath, Jerry                                                
    • But No Elephants
  • Stanley, Diane                                              
    • Saving Sweetness
  • Stone, Jon                                                     
    • The Monster at the End of This Book    Screenshot 2017-05-08 21.20.22
  • Stower, Adam                                             
    • Troll and the Oliver
  • Thomas, Jan                                                 
    • Rhyming Dust Bunnies
    • Can You Make a Scary Face?
  • Timberlake, Amy                                       
    • The Dirty Cowboy
  • Trimmer, Christian                                    
    • Simon’s New Bed
  • Tullet, Herve                                                
    • Press Here
  • Ward, Lindsay                                              
    • Rosco vs. the Baby
  • Willems, Mo                                                 
    • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
    • Elephant & Piggie books
  • Wood, Audrey                                             
    • King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub
    • The Napping House

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