Comedy and Humor

They say laughter is the best medicine. And these books offer the cure. As part of its Lifelong Literacy campaign, the Library of Congress invites you to giggle your way through the pages of these books. Doctor’s orders.

“The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” by Jon Scieszka
“The Stinky Cheese Man’ is a collection of twisted, humorous parodies of famous children's stories and fairy tales, such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Gingerbread Man.” The star of the show is Jack, based on his counterpart from “Jack and the Beanstalk,” who often intermingles his own commentary within the stories.

  • Caldecott Honor Book (1993); Buckeye Children’s Book Award (Ohio) (1995)

“The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka
"There has obviously been some kind of mistake," writes Alexander T. Wolf from the pig penitentiary where he's doing time for his alleged crimes of 10 years ago. Here is the "real" story of the three little pigs, whose houses are huffed and puffed to smithereens... from the wolf's perspective.

  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Maryland) (1991); Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award (North Dakota) (1991)

“A Long Way from Chicago” by Richard Peck
When Joey and his sister Mary Alice travel from their home in Chicago to their Grandmother's small town, they don't expect the crazy adventures they encounter there.

“Everything on a Waffle” by Polly Horvath
Primrose's parents have been lost at sea, but she believes without an iota of doubt that they are still alive, somewhere. She moves in with her Uncle Jack but feels generally friendless. Her only real refuge is a local restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, where the owner, Miss Bowzer, serves everything on waffles—except advice and good sense, which come free of charge and are always reliable.

  • Newbery Honor Book (2002)

“Henry and the Clubhouse” by Beverly Cleary
For Henry Huggins and his friends Robert and Murph, a clubhouse is a place where they can do as they please, without being bothered by girls. The sign that says “NO GIRLS ALLOWED—THIS MEANS YOU” especially means Ramona Quimby. The day Ramona follows Henry to the clubhouse, she wants to teach him girls aren't so bad, but she almost puts an end to his newspaper career forever.

“The Girl's Revenge” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
It's December, and 8-year-old Caroline chooses Wally to be her partner in the December project, an interview and presentation assignment. But Caroline's plan to be Wally for a day goes terribly wrong, and now she and Wally are both afraid of flunking fourth grade. To make matters worse, the disgusting but beautifully wrapped presents they gave each other end up in the wrong hands.

“Surviving the Applewhites” by Stephanie S. Tolan
Jake Semple is a scary kid. Word has it that he burned down his old school and then was kicked out of every other school in his home state and the middle school in Traybridge, N. C. There's only one place left that will take him—a home school run by the outrageous Applewhites. E.D. Applewhite and Jake, so nearly the same age, are quickly paired in the family's first experiment in "cooperative education." The two clash immediately. The only thing they have in common is the determination to survive the family's eccentricities.

  • Newbery Honor Book (2003)

“Squashed” by Joan Bauer
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Morgan's life would be almost perfect if she could just get her potentially prize-winning pumpkin to put on about 200 more pounds—and if she could take off 20 herself in hopes of attracting Wes, the new boy in town.

  • Delacorte Prize for First Young Adult Novel (1992)

“Al Capone Does My Shirts” by Gennifer Choldenko
Moose Flannagan moves with his family to Alcatraz so his dad can work as a prison guard and his autistic sister, Natalie, can attend a special school. Unfortunately, she’s denied admittance to the school. When Moose meets Piper, the warden’s cute daughter, he knows right off she’s trouble. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents’ expectations and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.

  • Newbery Honor Book (2005)

“Captain Underpants” (series) by Dav Pilkey
Join George Beard and Harold Hutchins on hilarious adventures with the amazing Captain Underpants, as they duel Dr. Diaper, battle the Bionic Booger Boy, clash with the crazy cafeteria ladies, plot against Professor Poopypants, wrestle the wicked Wedgie Woman and more.

  • Garden State Book Award (New Jersey) (2000, 2004); Buckeye Children’s Book Award (Ohio) (2001, 2003)