Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Funny Read Alouds for the Elementary School Crowd

I’ve been invited to a local elementary school’s Family Reading Night. I missed last year’s event due to scheduling conflicts, so I’m super excited that I’m able to participate. One of the activities in the Family Reading Night program is rotating throughout classrooms in which guest readers read a variety of picture books.

The books I chose for this program have to meet certain criteria (my own criteria; the school allows you to choose your own material). If it’s a funny read aloud, it usually goes into my stack of books. I need to be able to read it several times in succession without getting bored with it. Although the audience in mind are elementary school students (and their families), I want them to entertain any younger or older siblings. Quite a tall order!

Throughout my experiences with this program, I’ve kept a list of tried and true sure-fire, attention-grabbing read aloud favorites:


(Image taken from Scholastic)

When it’s football season, I usually choose Aaron Reynolds’s Buffalo Wings. Football season is over, so Chicks and Salsa it is. If you had nothing to eat but chicken feed, you might also look for ways to spice it up. These intrepid barnyard animals make a delicious spread, although no one is quite sure how the ingredients are procured.



(image taken from Scholastic)

John and Ann Hassett’s take on The Three Billy Goats Gruff is a hilarious read aloud about a school-avoidant boy who has a taste for jelly doughnuts.  If you love to employ lots of voices in your read alouds, check this one out. It’s just as much fun to read as it is to hear.


(image taken from Scholastic)

When I discovered this book, I loved it so much that I immediately had to share it with my toddler story time. While it was such a failure with that particular group that I haven’t tried it again, I have read What! Cried Granny to enough preschool and elementary school classes that I know its humor comes across loud and clear for older students. Patrick and Granny are all set for his first sleepover….or, so they think! Seems that Granny’s house is lacking in several key items, but her impressive resourcefulness carries them through. Unfortunately, it’s at the expense of a restful night! If you need a not-so-sleepy bedtime story for a pajama story time, you need to include this book.

I’m also planning to read The Book With No Pictures for the first time; very excited about that one as well!

Do you have any favorite funny read aloud titles for elementary school classes? Let us know in the comments!





  1. Polly

    Elephant and Piggie! I’ve read several of them to kids up to 6th grade, and they love them!

    1. Abby Johnson

      I second Elephant and Piggie! We use them with our K-4th Afterschool kids all the time and they are well loved.

  2. Natasha Forrester Campbell

    I think you’ll love The Book with No Pictures! It’s worked great with every group I’ve tried it with so far.

    I use Stephanie’s Ponytail by Munsch, and the grades K-4 kids love it! I always try to find a girl or boy with long hair to be Stephanie and have an adult put their ponytail in different places, and the kids always help with “ugly, ugly, very ugly!”

  3. Carolyn Caywood

    I introduce Ken Kesey’s Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear by saying it is a tale of greed and violence. Actually it is a wonderful, and wonderfully illustrated, retelling of Sody Saleratus. It just begs you to “do the voices.”

  4. Ariel Cummins

    I’ve had really good luck with Dragons Love Tacos – it’s short enough that younger siblings don’t get antsy pantsy, but it’s ridiculous enough that older kids laugh and laugh.

  5. Kelly Doolittle

    “The Chicken of the Family” by Mary Amato!! It is perfect for this age group and the sibling interaction is spot-on in a comically understated way. Delphine Durand’s illustrations are wonderfully kooky and homely. Adults find it hilarious, too, so you can tickle the teachers’ and caregivers’ funny bones at the same time!

  6. Suz

    “Shhh!” by Sally Grindley and “Bark, George” by Jules Pfieffer. For an older crowd, I also like “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Sciezcka.

    And “The Book with No Pictures” is truly fantastic. The kids just fall over laughing when you say “Boo Boo Butt”.

  7. Jennifer Schultz

    These are all fabulous suggestions! Thank you! The Book With No Pictures was a huge hit. So much fun.

  8. Abby Johnson

    Here are some that have been huge hits with our Afterschool kids (K-4th):

    Moira’s Birthday by Robert Munsch
    I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
    Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau
    If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen (I always ask the kids what they would put in THEIR car and they come up with some really creative ideas)
    Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett (maybe not quite in the “funny” vein, but the kids have loved this one this year)
    Me First by Helen Lester
    My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza

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