Booklist: Our Favorite Silly Books

We love silly books so these are some of our favorites. Being silly does not mean a book is not living. It just means it is a lot more fun.

To keep things as simple as possible, I divide the books into four ages ranges: preschool to early elementary; elementary; middle years (roughly 5th-8th grades); and teens. Keep in mind that many harder books can be read aloud to younger children and that older ones can still enjoy and get a lot out of easier books.

Favorite Silly Books

Adams, Douglas. Hitchhiker’s Guide (series) and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (series). We love these books. They are a bit atheistic. Dirk Gently is probably less so. Teens.

Anderson, M.T. Pals in Peril (series). With titles like Whales on Stilts and The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen, you know they are silly. Middle years +. (Anderson has some other good books but some also have more mature content.)

Angleberger, Tom. Horton Halfpott. Some of Angleberger’s books are fairly twaddle but we liked this one. Middle years.

Clark, Henry. What We Found in the Sofa and How it Changed the World. We still remember that rare zucchini-colored crayon. Maybe a little twaddle but we liked it. Middle years.

Dahl, Roald. The king of silly living books. I can’t pick just one. Some of our favorites are: The BFGJames and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but he has lots of wonderful lesser-known books as well. Elementary-middle.

Jinks, Catherine. How to Catch a Bogle (series). We loved these. Middle years.

King-Smith, Dick. Twin Giants. King-Smith has lots of animal stories (which also have a fair amount of silly) but this one is just silly. Elementary.

Mayne, William. Hob Stories (series). We loved Hob and his pockets. Elementary.

Lindgren, Astrid. You know her from Pippi Longstocking (classic silly) but she has lots of other great books. One favorite is The Children of Noisy Village. Elementary-middle.

Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys. Lowry is prolific and has some series books (The Giver) and some good chapter books (Goonie Bord Greene, also a bit silly) but this one is just silly. Middle years.

MacDonald, Betty. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (series). Classic silly chapter books about kids who do wrong and get just punishments. Elementary.

Slobodkin, Louis. Round Trip Spaceship, Spaceship in the Park, and Spaceship under the Apple Tree. Wonderful older author. Elementary-middle.

Steig, William. Steig has so many great (long) picture books it is hard to pick just one. You probably know Shrek (not much like the movie) but what about Solomon the Rusty Nail and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble? Elementary.

Wodehouse, P.D. Jeeves (series). Silly isn’t just for little kids! Middle years-adults.

Wood, Mary Rose. The Incorrigibles (series). Because it is our favorite series ever, I have to include the Incorrigbles again here. Middle-teens.

What are your favorite silly books?

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