Children's Joke Books

We have received several books from Scholastic recently. Being an avid children’s literature lover, I find it as exciting as the children. Although, I can tell you that when a box arrived from Scholastic during the holidays, it was almost fever pitch excitement here as the box was eagerly opened and the new books examined and read.

A big hit from the selection has been:

My First Book of Jokes

RRP $9.99
Publication Date: July 2013
Source: Scholastic Australia

Joke books are a perennial favourite for kids. I can still remember my first joke book.

My favourite joke by far was:

Q. Ten cats were in a boat. One jumped out. How many were left?
A. None. They were all copy cats.

I think every time I saw my Dad I asked him that joke. Being a great Daddy, he laughed hysterically every time I asked him. (He should have learned from Mum, who stopped laughing, and therefore was no fun to share the joke with.) I don’t know how long I kept asking him, but it was not a short period. More like months rather than days or weeks.

About two years later. My sister discovered the same Dr. Seuss Joke Book on the shelf. Guess what her favourite joke was? Guess who laughed loudest at the joke? Yup, good ol’ Dad.

My brother was never much of a reader. In fact, you could say he despised reading as much as he despised school. However joke books have a magnetic pull. Even for reluctant readers. Especially when you have a hilarious joke about copy cats. Dad laughed long and loud. At 10 years old I really used to wonder how Dad could be so forgetful. After all, it was only lunch time, and he had a good chuckle over that joke at breakfast…

Needless to say, my youngest sister in due time also found the exact same book and without prompting came out to Dad with an extremely funny joke about cats jumping out of a boat. When she asked Dad the joke, there was a belly laugh, not only from Dad but Mum also. Over the next several weeks, the belly laugh might not have been there, but there was laughter everytime an excited little girl came up to her Daddy with shining eyes full of anticipation. By the ripe old age of 12, I could now detect the slight sigh that often proceeded the laughter. But Dad, bless his heart, (it brings tears to my eyes just remembering this) still laughed as heartily as the first little girl who had already asked him that same joke a million times.

Fast forward 20 years. A little granddaughter came out holding a battered and beaten up joke book. “Hey Grandad! 10 Cats were in a Boat…” So far 4 out of the 10 grandkids have discovered the old book. It also seems that there is a genetic predisposition to find the one joke funny. Now we are the parents we all join in the laughter. Although mostly we laugh at Dad’s fake laugh.

Scholastic’s My First Book of Jokes has the same appeal to young children as the tried and tested Dr. Seuss book. It has simple jokes that appeal to a child’s sense of humour, often relying on pun. The illustrations are entertaining, bright and colourful. It’s relatively short, so the kids don’t get overloaded and lose interest. There is a question on one page, and the answer is when you turn the page, so it gives the child a chance to guess for themselves first. I wish I had this book last year when Jonty had to bring a joke to school for Prep show and tell. I think it would have been very much appreciated by the preppies.

3 year old Trent’s favourite joke was:
Where do sick horses go?
To horsepital

7 year old Jonty’s favourite joke:
What do you call criminals robbing a jewellery store?

There is something precious as a parent hearing children laugh at jokes. I think it makes a joke book a pretty precious commodity. Not only are you buying your children literature that they will be motivated to read independently, you are buying their laughter to go along with it. And that is worth far more money then the price of a joke book. Great value I say!

Have you got a much loved family joke? Have your own kids discovered joke books? What are their favourites?

You may also like


  1. I wonder if I should buy one and put it alongside the old and battered joke book – or maybe replace it …

Leave a Reply

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