If You Give a Kid a Book…

If they’re anything like my kids, they will love them. While my boys definitely have their favourite stories that we read over and over again, like Neon Leon, or any of our Berenstain Bear books, they love checking out new books and finding fresh favourites. So, when I asked my oldest if he wanted to snuggle up and pick out five books for this column, he jumped at the chance. After looking through some books, we decided to go with funny books, because funny books make great gifts. If you are looking for any books to give away as gifts this year, here are five kid-approved books to check out.

Sloth & Squirrel in a Pickle by Cathy Ballou Mealey and illustrated by Kelly Collier (Kids Can Press, 2021). Squirrel really wants to have a bike so he and Sloth can go so, so fast. But bikes cost more money than the two friends have. But before Squirrel can cry Sloth sees a “hiring” sign and suggests they get a job canning pickles. This isn’t as easy as either of them thought it would be, but their attempts to can pickles is hilarious. And Collier does an excellent job of bringing Sloth and Squirrel to life with her illustrations. For ages 4 to 8.

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Napoleon vs. The Bunnies by J.F. Fox and illustrated by Anna Kwan (Kids Can Press, 2021). You might think you know everything there is to know about Napoleon, but did you ever hear about the time he battled bunnies? I hadn’t, but I’m so glad I’ve heard the story now, and I bet you will be too. As an added bonus, the book also has some other facts about Napoleon in the back if you or you child would like to know even more. For ages 4 to 8.

Arnold the Super-ish Hero by Heather Tekavec and illustrated by Guillaume Perreault (Kids Can Press, 2021). Arnold comes come a family of superheroes and he really wants to be a superhero too, but he’s not strong, or fast, or bouncy. He is really good at taking notes, so he spends his days answering the superhero phone. But one day a call comes in and none of the superheroes are around. After a little pep talk to himself, Arnold grabs his great-grandmothers outfit and tries his best to save the day. For ages 4 to 8.

This is a Dog Book by Judith Henderson and illustrated by Julien Chung (Kids Can Press, 2021). This might be a dog book, but there’s definitely a bunny on the cover. The bunny claims to be a dog, but the dogs just aren’t sure about that. To determine the truth, they give the bunny a series of tests including the “doo doo” test. The minimalist style of illustrations are really captivating and easily showcase many different types of dogs—and one bunny—throughout this book’s pages. For ages 4 to 8.

The Nut that Fell from the Tree by Sangeeta Bhadra and illustrated by France Cormier (Kids Can Press, 2020). In the same style as the song There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, this book follows the journey of a nut as it falls from a tree and passes throw the paws and beaks of different animals. My son got a real kick out of me stumbling over the tongue-twisting text, and it was even more funny when he tried to read it for himself. For ages 4 to 8.

And there you have it. Five kid-approved funny books that you can use as gifts for the children in your lives. And I know the books say that they’re for ages 4 to 8, but if you have younger or older children, I bet they’d find these books funny too. I know I did.

Christina Van Starkenberg
Christina Van Starkenberghttp://christinavanstarkenburg.com
Christina Van Starkenburg lives in Victoria with her husband, children, and cat. She is the author of One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour and many articles. To read more of her work and learn about her upcoming books, check out her website at www.christinavanstarkenburg.com.