Jan recently wrote about classic children’s tales and reading to your kids. While I totally agree with her about story time with children should be non-ironic, I personally love children’s picture books that have hidden adult meanings, or children’s-style picture books written for adults. Here are some of my favorites; parental guidance is suggested!
The Amphigorey Series by Edward Gorey. These books are filled with fabulous black and white ink illustrations and dark humor at its finest. This will sound crazy if you don’t know anything about these books, but if you are a fan of morbid humor and the alphabet, you will be trying to buy these with your rent money after reading them.
Go the F* to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. Yes, here it is. The f-bomb in all its glory, I know. However, if you have children, you will most definitely identify with this story. Told from a father’s point of view, this lovely book is a rhyming plea for his child to just go to bed already. Just don’t read this when your kids are taking a nap…your laughter will surely wake them up.
It’s a Book! by Lane Smith. In a world of computers, smart phones, Bluetooth, iPads, and Skype, where do books fit in? I think they fit in quite well, if your brain isn’t too fried to read one. This book is okay for kids, if they are old enough to understand the humor at the end.
All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen. Aw, so sad! All Dinosaur’s friends are dead. All the pirate’s friends have scurvy. This is a book about the downside of being anything, which is funny and sad all wrapped up in a cute 96 page picture book.
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown. A very cute picture book written for kids, but is such a good one, I couldn’t resist it. Lucy the bear finds a boy in the woods and takes him home. Mama bear warns her that “Children make terrible pets.” The pictures are fabulous and the story hilarious. I honestly wish I could see a bear with a kid as a pet.
Dick and Jane and Vampires by Laura Marchesani. Written and illustrated in the style of Dick and Jane, this book includes (gasp) a Vampire! Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. Spoiler alert: you will also see Spot run.
Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd. A clever parody of Goodnight Moon, this book takes a peek at all the electronics in our everyday lives. Brightly illustrated and full of pop-culture references, it’s a fun, two minute read.
These are all humorous books that will lighten up any bookshelf in the house…just make sure that they’re out of the kids’ reach!