I decided to do a little picture book research while working on this project. I'm particularly looking for humorous picture books. I'm finding them harder to find than I expected. For one thing, there doesn't seem to be a spot in the library for "Gut Busting Picture Books." Also, I may not understand picture book humor. One of the local librarians picked out some picture books for me that she found funny. Er...ah...uh.
Keep in mind, just because we were looking for humorous picture books, it doesn't necessarily follow that these books are meant to be funny. That may very well have not been the authors' intent.
I'm finding picture books to be a bit of a mystery.
Little Owl Lost Chris Haughton. Love the artwork here. This is the story of an owl who falls out of his nest and is helped to get back to his mom by a squirrel. The squirrel keeps finding the wrong mom. Child readers might find the mistakes humorous and enjoy taking Little Owl's part and setting squirrel straight over and over again. That's an interesting idea. The reader brings the humor to the story. Again, a nice work overall, but this one I didn't find that funny. I think the librarian gave it to me.
Bug in a Vacuum Melanie Watt. Okay, this definitely isn't meant to be funny. A fly experiences a crisis and then goes through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief. It was published as a children's book, aimed toward the lower grades of elementary school. Perhaps as instructional? If you are an adult with a dark sense of humor, you'll find a lot of jokes here. I don't think it's going to help me as a model/mentor text for preschool picture book humor.
The Pout-Pout Fish Deborah Diesen. This is another book that I think readers bring the humor to. The pout-pout fish's face lends itself to spreading the dreary-wearies. That is, until someone changes his mind by.... I don't want to spoil the story. I can imagine a child listener and adult reader having a good time with "glub-glubs" and kisses. But this isn't the kind of humor I'm thinking of.
Monster Trouble Lane Fredrickson with art by Michael Robertson. Okay. This one has both the story and humor I'm interested in, for the age group I'm interested in.
The Hueys in the New Sweater and The Hueys in It Wasn't Me Oliver Jeffers. The thing about the Hueys is they're thumb people. Come on. No one notices that? Or maybe they're bean people. But for such unsophisticated bodies, they have sophisticated issues related to uniformity and getting along. There is some humor here, but the books are also thinkers. I like It Wasn't Me because of the randomness of the climax.