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Silly Books to Read With Your Kids on April Fool’s Day (Instead of Pranking Them)

Some families really get into April Fool’s Day, planning elaborate pranks at each other’s expense. This can end in laughter or tears, often both. And honestly, this year I’m not sure if my frayed nerves can take so much as a Vaseline-covered doorknob. So, I’m proposing that instead of playing jokes on each other, we read the funniest books we can find — some of which still do involve laughing at another’s expense.

Not that I think my husband and kid will heed my no-pranks decree this year. But it’s my hope that we’ll be so busy rolling on the floor laughing at the raccoon in Secret Pizza Party or the kid who turns out to be an actual rat in Sideways Stories From Wayside School, they’ll forget all about trying to trick me.

All of the books we list here aren’t just funny; they’re absurd, wacky, twisted, zany, and logic-defying. Their purpose is not necessarily to move readers or teach them some important lesson. It’s about pure, in-the-moment entertainment. It’s such a joy to see our kids burst into giggles at fart jokes and clueless characters that I sometimes wonder why we read anything serious to them at all. Why don’t we read more of these to ourselves for that matter?

Don’t ponder that question too hard, btw. Just enjoy these books.

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