Every week I post a humorous picture book on Instagram using the hashtag #funnybookfriday.

After a lot of internal debate, here are the funniest 8 books released in 2023 and a little insight into the method of humor each author used for their book.

Check these books out!!! Your kids will thank you. (Or their giggles will be thanks enough.)

8 Funniest Picture Books of 2023 (In no particular order):

PROBLEM SOLVED picture book with an hedgehog and a rabbit on the cover

PROBLEM SOLVED– If you have read any books by creator Jan Thomas before, you know that her pages have simplistic illustrations with big emotions. And they contain few words with lots of humor. Think Mo Willams’ Elephant and Piggy, but Jan Thomas style. I love her work. This book is about a rabbit who has a messy room and a porcupine who comes to “solve” the problem. Yep, it’s funny.

THE FASTEST TORTOISE IN TOWN picture book with a picture of a little girl riding a bike with a turtle in the basket

THE FASTEST TORTOISE IN TOWN by Howard Calvert & Karen Obuhanychis the opposite of Problem Solved. The humor in this story comes from its very specific and hilarious details. For example, the tortoise is named Barbara Hendricks. Haha. What a name for a tortoise. Lorraine, the main character, has one week to train Barbara for a race. In my favorite spread, Barbara is overtaken during her training by a worm, a toddler, a great-grandpa, and a remote-controlled brachiosaurus. Haha, I am telling you it’s all in the details with this one. And the fun surprise ending.

I MADE THESE ANTS SOME UNDERPANTS! picture book cover with little boy, ants and lots of underpants.

I promise I didn’t pick I MADE THESE ANTS SOME UNDERPANTS by Derick Wilder & K-Kai Steele just because it has the world underpants in the title. After receiving new underpants, the main character sets out to make underpants for everyone else around. I found his choices hilarious. Ants, a pirate, a snake (hahaha- the shape of the snake’s underpants is super funny), a piggy bank, a race car… the list is pretty extensive, unexpected, and funny. Great rhymes. It made me laugh a lot.

Wombat picture book with a wombat in a hole on a mustard colored cover

I read a lot of books, and a lot of books are not too surprising, so books like WOMBAT BY Philip Bunting are delightful in their unique approach and unexpected turns. This book is mostly a rhythmic play on the word wombat, but it takes you to places where you are saying silly words and coming across pictures of things like a wombat that has fallen down a whole and a half of a wombat! It is a silly and delightful read.

HAVE YOU SEEN MY DINOSAUR picture book with a little character looking for an invisible dino

HAVE YOU SEEN MY INVISIBLE DINOSAUR is by one of my new favorite creators, Helen Yoon. In this story, the little girl is looking for her invisible dinosaur, which by the fact he is invisible, makes him a little difficult to find. Hahaha. My favorite picture in this book is the “Have You Seen My Dinosaur?” posters that have a blank spot where you would normally have a picture or photo. This book is uber-creative and contains a quiet, smart humor that hits on multiple levels.

I CAN OPEN IT FOR YOU picture book with an image of a little boy opening a jar on the cover.

I CAN OPEN IT FOR YOU by Shinsuke Yoshitake takes a relatable frustration, of not being able to open something, exaggerated by hilarious illustrations and captions like, “It’s no use. I can’t open it because I’m small and weak.” Then the main character flips this thought to a child-like exaggerated dream that when he is big he is going to be able to open ANYTHING. He will save the day. He will be famous for it. And he will be amazing. Haha. It is great.

WITCH AND WOMBAT with a witch and a wombat on the cover.

In WITCH & WOMBAT by Ashley Belote, Wilma has finally reached the age that all witches wait for. The day she gets a cat. But when she goes to pick up her cat, the cats are all gone, so she ends up with a wombat. Haha. The humor in this story reminds me a little of The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton, which is a compliment. A wombat obviously and humorously can’t do what a cat can do, but this wombat does have other charms.

ELVES ARE THE WORST picture book with a picture of a goblin and and elve on the cover

ELVES ARE THE WORST by Alex Willan is the 4th book in his “The Worst” series…which is one of the very best picture book series. In this story, Gilbert is trying to prove that Elves aren’t all that special. In fact, he could be just like them if he tried…which he does….and he fails. Hahaha. Gilbert is determined, strongly opinionated, and lovably imperfect. AND as a bonus, this humorous book has the cutest little “Kitty Canes” you will ever see in your life.

-Jamie

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Instagram profile page for author Jamie Bills. Handle @jmebills - image of Jamie and the many picture books she reviews and promotes.

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