Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar (Illustrated by Troy Cummings)

Little Red skates to Grandma’s house every Sunday. But her skates are getting worn out. How fortuitous that she learns of a Pairs Skating Competition, for which the prize is brand new skates. Hansel and Gretel are strong contenders, along with the Dish and the Spoon, but Little Red can’t find an acceptable partner. Until the Big Bad Wolf demonstrates some pretty awesome skating skills. Will he be good?

This story has so many familiar characters to liven up the scene like the Tortoise and the Hare, Prince and Cinderella, Jack and Jill, and more. The story plays successfully with a miriage of fractured fairytale characters.  It’s really fun.  If your kids enjoy any of the classics, they’ll love this.

7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar (Illustrated by Ross MacDonald)

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6 is afraid of 7. Rumor has it 7 ate 9, and everyone knows 7 is after 6. So 6 goes to see Private I, who agrees that 7 is an odd fella. Fully of punny math humor, 7 ate 9 is a hilarious whodunit mystery that will delight kids and teachers alike. This is written by a dear friend, Tara Lazar (author of The Monstore, I Thought This Was a Bear Book, Normal Norman, Little Red Gliding Hood and Way Past Bedtime), and is truly one of my favorites. A masterpiece of puns, it is perfectly complimented by beautiful illustrations. Watch the mystery unfold, as Private I tries to add up the facts. Currently featured on the display shelves of most book stores – don’t even hesitate – just buy it.

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen

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Wow, what a great metaphor for the adopted child. Guji Guji’s mother finds an egg on the ground and adds it to her duckling nest. Guji Guji is raised as a duck and is happy in his family, until one day he finds out that he is a crocodile. His croc family tries to lure him into crocodile behavior (eating sweet little ducks), but Guji Guji knows his true family is the family with whom he has spent his whole life.  So sweet and funny too.  Great illustrations. Go Guji Guji!

Chicken of the Family by Mary Amato (Delphine Durand, illustrator)

9780399241963_p0_v1_s260x420Have your siblings ever tried to convince you that you were adopted?  Mine have! This is a hilarious and relatable picture book in which two older sisters convince their younger sister that she is a chicken. They have all the relevant points covered, after all, her legs ARE a little bit yellow and her toes ARE long. So, when feathers and an egg miraculously appear by Henrietta’s bed, that’s all the evidence she needs to decide it’s true.  She heads out to the farm to find her true family.

When I was little, my brother and sister tried this trick on me.  I’d say “Why do I look like everyone else in the family?” They always had a reply, “Duh, we picked you to look like us.” Henrietta’s sisters try the same tactics and it works, until it backfires on them. Because I could relate so well, I loved it. 

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

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Mo Willems is a genius, in my ever so humble opinion. He is, by far, my favorite current picture book author.

For a complete list if hilarious picture books by Mo Willems, go here.

This one is a humorous take on a classic tale that had me laughing out loud in the middle of the bookstore. Three scheming dinosaurs take the place of standard well-intentioned bears and lure Goldilocks into a house full of chocolate pudding, because what dinosaur wouldn’t enjoy a chocolate filled girl for dessert? Will she fall into their trap?

If you like to laugh, pick this one up.

If the Theodor Geisel and Caldecott awards on Willems’ other books haven’t yet caught your attention, take notice!  Buy ANY of his books because you’ll enjoy reading them as much as your kids will enjoy reading or listening to them.