Recently the kids and I were discussing favorite books.

It happened over Strawberry Shortcake because one book we remember lovingly was named Cook-a-doodle-doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.

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The story is about a red rooster who is sick of chicken feed. So he decides to make something out of the cook book from his great granny, L.R. Hen. But the dog, cat and goose refuse to help. New helpers arrive in the form of the turtle, the iguana and the pig.

From there on the comedy ensues as the turtle reads the recipe , the iguana tries to help but has no clue about cooking terms and the pig waits for the moment of taste testing none too patiently.

Every time one of the kids gets this book, we laugh ourselves silly. And we make the shortcake recipe at the end of the book and have a great time eating it. It is fun comedy with a bit of a lesson tied into it. (Love the part where the iguana looks for a bat to beat the eggs)

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Another book that make us laugh is Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus.  Mo Willems really understand how to write for pre-schoolers and kindergartners about frustrations. Plus, we get to yell “no” at almost every page when the pigeon asks to drive the bus. But we are under strict orders from the driver, who is taking a quick break, to not let the pigeon get near the steering wheel.

It is great fun, even when the pigeon has a total meltdown at being thwarted so many times. He even resorts to saying that “your mom would let me do it.”  That pigeon does not know me and is grasping at straws. And my kids know it which is why we laugh at that line. Still, the pigeon makes for a great read at bedtime when the kids are trying to avoid going to sleep.

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One book that gets us laughing every time is Tom by Tomie dePaola. Now many of dePaola’s book make us laugh, many make us smile. But there is something about this book that has me chuckling when I am not reading it.

This little book tells about a grandfather and grandson who have a special relationship. They fix various things at the grandfather’s house and hang out at the store where Grandpa is a butcher. One day Grandpa tells the boy to bury a chicken head to get a chicken bush. Another time he shows the boy how to pull the tendon on a chicken foot, once it has been removed from the chicken, to make the toes move.

At this point you are thinking “That’s Gross!,” or “That’s Inhuman! Who would suggest such a book?,” or “That’s really funny!”

I went for really funny because I grew up as a farm girl and understand that your food has legs and breathes. Sooner or later that creature will become supper.  It is not as neat and pretty as chicken wrapped in plastic at the supermarket but that was life at that time. Maybe this is an opportunity, a teachable moment if you will, to talk about daily life 75 or more years ago.

Or maybe it is just a good opportunity to laugh at a little boy playing a trick that maybe he should not. Which is something we all do at some point and we count our blessings for being lucky at nothing going too wrong.

What books belonging to your children or grandchildren make you laugh?