by Roald Dahl
illustrated by Quentin Blake
This week is National Library Week. In Roald Dahl’s memory I’ve put together my short list of favorite funny books:
Favorite funny picture books:
Feiffer, Jules. Bark, George! HarperCollins, 1999.
Haughton, Chris. Shh! We Have a Plan. Candlewick, 2014.
Parrish, Peggy. Amelia Bedelia. Harper and Row, 1963.
------Amelia Bedelia’s Family Album. Greenwillow, 1988.
Willems, Mo. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Hyperion Books for Children, 2003.
Favorite funny chapter books:
Clary, Julian. The Bolds. Carolhroda Books, 2015.
Juster, Norman. The Phantom Tollbooth. Random House, 1961.
Park, Barbara. Junie B. First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! Random House, 2006.
------ Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder. Random House, 2002.
------ Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy. Random House, 1998.
Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine. Hyperion Books for Children, 2006.
Favorite funny poetry:
Agee, Jon. Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue. Disney/Hyperion, 2009.
Prelutsky, Jack. New Kid on the Block. Greenwillow, 1984.
Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends. Harper and Row, 1974.
My first library was a mansion. It once belonged to Frances P. Bolton, the first woman elected to Congress from Ohio. Finally defeated after her 15th term, Mrs. Bolton returned to her estate in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The Cuyahoga County Library System acquired the home and shelved books in every room. It felt magical to me.
Once, when I was wandering from room to room in the children’s wing, I discovered a book called, I thought, Magic House Numbers. But, oh no! When I got home and opened it up, I saw it was a math book: Magic House of Numbers. Math was not my best thing even as a ten-year-old. But the book was very cool.
Did you know that every multiple of nine adds up to nine? Like 9 times 3 is 27 (2+7=9) and 9 times 6 is 54 (5+4=9). The whole book is full of helpful tips like that.
I went through a biography phase. Biographies are easy to find in a library. They are all lined up alphabetically. A book about Copernicus might end up right next to a book about Jacque Cousteau. I found out about lots of people I had never heard of. Some were very famous!
I spent quiet hours curled up on the sofa reading Cheaper by the Dozen, Little Women, Heidi, and The Secret Garden. Funny books weren’t my favorites, then. But I love reading. Some funny books are even my favorites now.
Libraries have every kind of book for every kind of kid and grown-up. Now libraries have movies, audiobooks, lots of technology to use there or borrow, for free. Libraries have quiet spaces and noisy spaces. Some libraries have gardens. And libraries have librarians to help you find or figure out what you're looking for.
As we say in Mahoning County, Ohio: I Love My Library!