Characters Behaving Badly: Bookends Rules of Humor #2

BookendsLynn and Cindy: Here’s our second post exploring the question: what makes little kids laugh?

Rule #2: Kids Love Body Humor or Characters Behaving Badly

Learning the rules of behavior is a big part of what small children are trying to negotiate. They’re very interested in finding out what’s allowed—and what they can get away with—at home, at daycare, and out in public. Naturally, it’s very funny when the characters in books break those rules. And when that rule-breaking involves body humor, well, you’ve got a winner in the giggle department. Walter the Farting Dog, anyone? Here are two picture books that illustrate Rule #2 without a whiff of a doubt.

Rude Cakes by Rowboat WatkinsRude Cakes, by Rowboat Watkins

Rude Cakes never listen! They never say please or thank you and sometimes they take things that are not theirs! Oh, the fascination of watching a truly rude pastry get its comeuppance!


Vegetables in UnderwearVegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman , by Jared Chapman

If underwear is funny, imagine vegetables in underwear. There’s nothing funnier than broccoli in Y-fronts!

A cautionary note from Cindy: If you are searching for images from the book Rude Cakes, I would advise that you add the author’s name to your search, or you’ll be in for some humor you may not be prepared to see! After seeing the really rude cakes that some people make for celebrations, I was almost afraid to search for Vegetables in Underwear . . . .



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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