Arguably, one of the best sounds in the world is a kid's laughter. Books can bring laughter when an author uses humor to reach their reader. To engage or further enchant young readers, humor is commonplace in many books. There are many reasons why authors may use humor in their books.
Using humor is a great way to reach young readers. By making books fun, this can encourage a reluctant reader to pick up a book (and then another and another) and read. A child may struggle with reading for different reasons (whether it’s a struggle to read, a comprehension struggle or just because they find it non-engaging) and authors use humor to engage the reader and help them even forget they’re reading!
Another piece that is often overlooked is how humor can enhance understanding and help kids remember parts of the book (comprehension). Kids remember funny things that have happened, things that have made them laugh. If a book makes them laugh or a certain part of a book is funny to them, they will definitely remember that! The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak is a pictureless read-aloud that will have the reader rolling with laughter. Here’s the thing - you HAVE to read every word in the book. Even the made up words. There’s even a silly song in there.
Humor can also be a tool for authors to use to help children understand. How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by Jane Yolen shows how sometimes in order to play together, kids have to play differently. With lots of dinosaur shenanigans, this book teaches kids how being adaptable and inclusive is important.
Humor can also help discuss difficult subjects and events with children. Laughter can break tension and create places for important conversations to take place. The Good Egg by Jory John teaches kids how imperfection is perfection with many laughs along the way. Humor makes something tough, a little less intimidating and a whole lot more fun.
Sovann Hyde is an intern at Cardinal Rule Press and studying at Michigan State University. She enjoys writing and reading in her free time as well as gaming with friends. Jetta, Gryffin, and Bella, her family’s dogs and cat, keep her energetic and curious.