Kids love the unexpected (and slightly ridiculous) plots of these books. And adults will love them too, because while they're silly, they're not stupid.

Kids love the unexpected (and slightly ridiculous) plots of the stories below. Adults will love them, too—because while these stories are silly, they’re not stupid.

Delightfully Silly Books
Holes

Holes

Author:

This is such a fun story, no matter your age. Stanley Yelnats is a boy with a history of bad luck–all brought on by his "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather." Yelnats ends up at Camp Green Lake—a juvenile detention center, where there is no lake--and has to dig a giant hole every day in the hot sun. The boys soon discover there may be more to this hole-digging business than punishment. Age 8 and up.

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Ten Apples Up On Top

Ten Apples Up On Top

Author:

This is the story of an apple-balancing contest between three rollerskating friends: a lion, a tiger, and a dog. They all compete to see who can get ten apples on their head first. This is a fun rhyming and counting book, in unforgettable Dr. Seuss style: “Seven apples up on top. I am so good they will not drop.” Age 2 and up.

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You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

A young girl and her grandmother go to visit the Met, but balloons aren’t allowed inside. The girl’s yellow balloon is tied to the railing outside, but it comes loose--and a hilarious adventure ensues. The outrageous story is told entirely in pictures done by Robin Glasser, who illustrates the Fancy Nancy books. Age 5 and up.

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Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books

Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She has the longest hair you’ve ever seen and was once married to a pirate. Children love her because she understands them. Their parents love her because she knows how to cure any childhood ailment, and they flock to her for solutions like the Answer-Backer Cure, the Won’t Pick Up Toys Cure, and the Never-Want-To-Go-To- Bedders Cure. (There are 5 Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.) Age 7 and up

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There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon

There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon

Author:

Billy Bixbee awakes one morning to find a dragon sitting on his bed. It’s a small dragon, about the size of a kitten. When Billy tells his mother what’s happened, she says “there’s no such thing as a dragon,” and the dragon continues to grow bigger and bigger so that someone will take notice of him. Age 4 and up.

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Officer Buckle & Gloria

Officer Buckle & Gloria

This charming book is a modern classic and Caldecott winner. The children at Napville School are always falling asleep during Officer Buckle’s safety talks, until Officer Buckle gets a buddy in the form of a police dog named Gloria. Age 4 and up.

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Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. But Farmer Brown soon finds himself in a predicament when his cows start typing up demands. This Caldecott Honor book’s ridiculous premise will capture young readers right off the bat, and the typewriter taps and animal noises make this a delightful read aloud.

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Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

This simple story of a peddler and the band of mischievous monkeys who steal his caps while he’s napping has been cracking kids up for over sixty years. The book is based on an old folk tale, and has a lyrical quality that makes it a great choice for reading out loud. Many parents fear this tale is too “old-fashioned” for their kids’ tastes, but don’t worry: this one’s destined to become a favorite.

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Where do you want to go next?

paper gains table of contents
good reads for bookish parents
books that belong in every family’s library
series kids love (and their parents do, too)
great picture books
books for baseball fans
books girls love
books boys love
books for young creatives
delightfully silly books
animal tales
books for the transportation-obsessed
books for young adventurers
books to fire young imaginations
books to pore over
classics for a reason
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