These may be “inappropriate” but a smart child could definitely enjoy some of them. And whether or not you choose to share them with your children, you can’t help but admit they’re super-clever. They’re all on my must-buy list now.

Pat the Bunny was one of my favorites when I was a kid. Making it into a zombie book is 20% sad, 80% awesome. I just hope it’s interactive like the original one is.

This naughty alphabet books was one of my favorites to read whenever we visited my grandmother. I understood that it wasn’t “for real” and laughed at the jokes, even if I didn’t understand a few of them until I was a bit older. “G is for Gigolo. A gigolo is a musical instrument. Tell your parents you’d like a gigolo for your birthday.” and more gems.

This one is on pre-order only I think, for now, but it’s already a huge internet sensation since a PDF of the complete book was leaked. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the text couldn’t be better. It’ll resonate with any mother who’s ever yelled at her baby in desperation, “Why won’t you just sleep?? You are TIRED!”

I’m judging a book by its cover. Awesome.

Definitely a lesson I’d like to teach Anneliese. In my preschool class, we teachers had the kids chant, “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.” if they started to whine about how Sidney got the orange cupcake they wanted, and theirs is crappy purple. It actually worked really well … but I imagine the promise of monsters eating them might work more efficiently.

When I was in elementary school, our librarian read us this book. It was probably one of my first introductions to parody. I was hooked.

7. image
From the “Baby be of Use” series. This book will teach our babies to be good mechanics. That would definitely be helpful when my husband is deployed.

Apparently I’m not the only person who doesn’t cry every time someone mentions “The Giving Tree.” But I think in this parody, the tree gets even in the end.

9. image
My dad and stepmom have this book, which is an alphabet book about how 26 different children meet their ends. “A is for Amy who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears. C is for Clara who wasted away. D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh…” My niece and nephew LOVED this book a couple years ago and would ask to hear it every time they visited.

This would be great to read around Halloween. It’s formatted the same way as the classic Goodnight Moon, and the prose has the same cadence.


Do you have any favorites to recommend? I’d love to hear them!


Some more things to click over to:

Blogher and Purina are learning about ProPlan Selects – click over to check it out!

And it’s your last chance to win a Libman mop and $100!

21 Comments on 10 “Children’s” Books We All Need to Own

  1. Janknitz says:

    My kids had “Pat the Beastie”, another “Pat the Bunny” parody and we really enjoyed it. It even had stretchy boogers! And we read “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” at least a thousand times–loved it!

    Another favorite of mine was a book with flaps called “There’s a Monster Under my Bed”. The little girl looks in various places in the house thinking there’s a monster–under her bed, in the closet, under the stairs. Each time it’s something benign, like her cat, a teddy bear, etc. Finally she concludes that there’s no such thing as monsters. But when you open the final door under the stairs, there’s a green and pink monster saying “Oh Yeah???”. Hilarious!

  2. Deb says:

    How about ‘Everyone poops’ by Taro Gomi. Very interesting and hilarious!!

  3. Kathy says:

    Two more by Lane Smith — “The Happy Hocky Family” and “It’s a Book”. Sly and sophisticated yet silly enough for little kids to laugh at without really “getting” it. Fun for the whole family!

  4. Beth says:

    The stinky cheese man and other fairly stupid tales is a great read and a parody off some great classics!

  5. Lindsay says:

    OMG I just found this on youTube for “go the F**k to Sleep

    So funny!!

  6. Laura says:

    I recently discovered this book which I would certainly consider for my nephew were he a little older than 2:

  7. Jenny says:

    The Frog Prince Continued is a must read. It is by Jon Scieszka, the same author as several already mentioned (The True Story of 3 Little Pigs, Math Curse, Stinky Cheese Man). I love his books, and The Frog Prince Continued is just wonderful.

  8. Catherine says:

    The Monsters Eat Whiny Children book reminds me of Struwwelpeter the German story book that is totally awesome! It has different scenarios where children learn lessons the hard way. i.e. the girl who played with matches ends up as a pile of ashes, the boy who refuses to cut his fingernails gets his long fingernails caught in a machine and is ground to bits and so on and so forth. Germans don’t play.

  9. Kristy says:

    My friend just bought a few of those books for his household and I remember a few from my childhood. Great list, as I started it I had several in mind and you hit them all!

  10. Caroline Nelson says:

    I have All My Friends Are Dead! Definitely worth it. I cracked up so hard.

  11. Joni says:

    I have a couple of these and my kids loved the true story of the three little pigs. We also had an old lady who swallowed a fly but it was like outRAGEOUS and the other one by the same guy who wrote the Three Little Pigs called the Stinky Cheese Man. Awesome.

  12. Anna says:

    Ha- I read the True Story of the Three Little Pigs to my students every year. It’s actually in the textbook adopted by my district too! (for 6th graders in Texas) It’s one of my favorites, because not only does it teach parody, we also talk about how you can tell parts of the truth and still be lying (which many of them don’t understand – some of the truth is enough for them!) and how every story has two sides, which is why it’s important to talk to everyone involved to understand what really happened. It’s a fun book with a lot of lessons!
    I’ll be checking out the other books – maybe I can pick up a few of them to add to my library at school (even though a few I obviously can’t, lol).

  13. Vivian says:

    I love the ABZ Book too! Thanks for sharing because I just found some gems in there. 🙂

  14. .:karen:. says:

    We have the Baby Be of Use series, Goodnight Goon (break it out around Halloween and our 3yo loves it) and the Edward Gorey one. Thanks for showing me some more! We’ll definitely be sharing this link with our neighbors and checking those others out.

  15. Lisa says:

    We love the Knuffle Bunny books. I will look for these as well. Thanks for the tips.
    Oh and we like to say “you get what you get & you don’t get upset”

  16. Virginia Decker says:

    Oh my gosh! Some of these look hilarious and fun! I love them! Thanks for sharing Emily! I love it!

  17. Lynn says:

    Love the idea of all of these! We were read the pigs one in elementary school too and I thought it was the funniest book back then. It may have been one of my first introductions to parody as well. 🙂

    I can’t remember the name now but one of my favorite books was about numbers and math and the cover had numbers spiraling all over the front. I’ll need to see if I can find it again.

  18. Dana K says:

    James Finn Garner has some hilarious stuff. He has a trilogy of “politically correct” children’s stories. Politically correct bedtime stories, once upon a more enlightened time, & politically correct holiday stories.

  19. Nelly says:

    I want every single one of these. And I want the dinosaur one on a shirt 😀

    One of my favorite books, when I was about age 8, was called “Drac and the Gremlin.” It was about a girl and her little brother who create characters for themselves and play out their stories outdoors around their house…I vaguely remember a scene with a bamboo forest. The way they saw the world – as a series of wild, magical places hovering just under the surface of the visible – was exactly how I did. I also wanted a little brother.

  20. Amiyrah says:

    Where the sidewalk ends by shel Silverstein. It was my favorite in grade school and now my 5yo loves it. Also, the REAL jungle book. Dark and a bit scary but a great chapter book.

  21. Erica Warner says:

    “The hungry caterpillar” was one of my favourites as a kid 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

as seen onas seen onas seen onas seen onas seen on

© 2020 Joyful Abode | Designed by OSN