11. Mooncake by Frank Asch
A bear builds a rocket ship, hoping to visit the moon and taste a little bite. He falls asleep during countdown, and accidentally wakes in the middle of winter, when he’s usually hibernating. Mistaking the snow-covered Earth for the surface of the moon, he believes he is sampling mooncake — which is delicious.
12. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
Alexander gets gum in his hair, has to sit in the middle seat during carpool, and finds out he’s no longer Paul’s best friend — all before lunch! Unlike so many stories that are all butterflies and sunshine, Alexander’s tale is a bitterly funny rant about an epically bad day, and who can’t relate to that?
13. Julius, The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
Preschoolers expecting or getting used to a new sibling will adore this funny story about Lily, a big sister mouse who resents the attention her parents are giving to baby Julius. Her retaliatory poem, which includes the lines, “If he was a number, he would be zero. If he was a food, he would be a raisin,” makes my preschooler (a big sister herself) howl with laughter.
14. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
A family goes on a fantastic adventure in search of a bear. Each time they face an obstacle, like thick oozy mud or a big dark forest, they chant, “We can’t go under it. We can’t go over it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!” It’s a great story for building vocabulary, and so much fun to read.
15. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
When the cows get hold of a typewriter, they start writing letters to Farmer Brown, demanding things like electric blankets. The annoyed farmer initially refuses, leading to a strike that affects the whole barnyard. Kids learn some pretty advanced concepts while laughing at the sheer silliness of cows that type.