Congratulations! Your School-aged Child Has a Funny Bone!

Congratulations! Your School-aged Child Has a Funny Bone!

Kids build all sorts of linguistic skills during the first four years of life, and their early school years typically bring strides in visual literacy, another gold mine of linguistic riches. In addition to learning to understand and follow verbal directions, explain how they feel, and explore worlds of fact and fantasy written by all kinds of authors because they’ve cracked the code of print, your 8- to 10-year-old may be on the way to developing a sense of verbal humor.

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What better way to celebrate the joy and elasticity of language than to engage, encourage, and simply enjoy alongside your blooming joke-teller or punster than through peak humor kids audiobooks?

Children, whether avid readers or not, tend to understand through listening about two years ahead of their visual literacy skill levels. Audiobooks for this age group offer every imaginable prize-winning kids’ title, as well as selections that, well, just are a lot more fun to hear than to read silently. Sometimes suggested for car trips, listening to audiobooks with your school-aged child can be a lot of fun — and great bonding time — in other situations as well. Weather too awful to contemplate keeping that date you’ve made with your son or daughter to go to the movies? Is one or the other of you too sniffly to put in a full evening of homework? Trying to wean yourselves from screen time without losing connection to outstanding professional performances?

Each year, AudioFile Magazine updates its database of Family Listening recommendations, which are sortable by age group. Selected and evaluated by a longtime children’s librarian with deep experience in audiobook performance and production, children’s literature, and youth literacy, many of these titles will make the family adults, as well as the kids, laugh out loud.

In addition, other fun-to-hear family listening can be found by searching the database in full, using the category of “Children” and keywords like “humor” and “funny.” There’s Ronald L. Smith’s 2016 Coretta Scott King Award-winning Hoodoo, performed by actor Ron Butler; Neil Gaiman reading his own story Fortunately, the Milk; Doreen Cronin’s The Chicken Squad, featuring a retired rescue dog, four chicks, and a squirrel who needs their help, all paced to perfection by Adam Grupper and Michele O. Medlin; and Harry Potter-famous narrator Jim Dale’s rendition of Lewis Carroll’s pun- and puzzle-studded Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Of course, not every hilarious — or even humor-tinted — listen will strike every family as good fun to enjoy together. Ask your librarian for recommendations of funny-out-loud stories to share with your school-aged co-listener.