Three New Picture Books for when you need a laugh (with added stealthy learning!)

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Do you need a good giggle? Laughter can be the finest medicine when you are feeling the worries of the world, to release endorphins and bodily tension can make you feel brighter and bolder if only for a temporary boost.

Here are three recently published Picture Books that have had us chortling away that I would recommend but if you need an extra reason to try them out, each also has a stealthy educational element to them whether teaching about poetry rhyme and rhythm, musical theory, fairy tales or learning your alphabet.

The Case of the Missing Cake Eoin Mc Laughlin and Marc Boulivant (Walker Books)

the case of the missing cake Eoin McLaughlin & Marc Boutavant

This is a super fun twist on the alphabet book format where a Bear Is distraught that someone has stolen his cake. 

the case of the missing cake Eoin McLaughlin & Marc Boutavant

Visiting creatures in alphabetical order until he finds a piggy to blame we revisit some ideas from classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes such as the Fox and the Gingerbread man but… there is a secret that the Walrus knows.

Oh No! where has the cake gone? Hang on a minute…..


With flavours of both the Hat and Shape Trilogies this dark humoured story of blame for cake is very funny especially when children finally twig what has really happened. 

The great part of this is that it acts as an alternative A-Z book when traditional ones can get tiresome, it also is great to explore fairy tales and nursery rhymes and the problem solving factor make this a funny and bright book with powerful stealth learning to boot.

The Diddle that Dummed Kes Grey and Fred Blunt (Hodder) 

the diddle that dummed Kes Gray Fred Blunt

This is a very silly story about a poor man who just wants to write a tune for his fiddle but one of his riddles keeps going dum instead!

the diddle that dummed Kes Gray Fred Blunt

You cannot fail to giggle as he gets ever more frustrated, pleading, negotiating with the diddle to change the whole piece to dums instead only to diddle!

My husband has been a worry wort this past week and this is the first thing that I have seen that has caused him to have a genuine laugh as he got to the end. That is worth the book a hundred times over.

It’s funny when the beardy man gets angry!! That dum is teasing!!


It’s absolutely hysterical and thoroughly recommended, not only for laughs but it’s really great to help understand music. 

The book acts as a fun introduction to musical theory with dums (crotchets) and diddles (quavers) and how they change the shape and pace of a piece of music.

Bunnies on the Bus- Philip Ardagh & Ben Mantle (Walker Books)

Bunnies on the Bus Philip Ardagh and Ben Mantle

Imagine the minions and the Rabbids (or a bunch of toddlers who got into a big tub of Haribo) but cute fluffy bunny wabbits going absolutely bonkers on a bus ride through the town.

Bunnies on the Bus Philip Ardagh and Ben Mantle illustration

I particularly love the way that through Ben Mantle’s illustrations there are multiple stories despite the Bunny- focused narrative. There is the story of the proud Lion with his flowing mane, the Piggy Postman, the Doggy Policeman and the naughty Bank Robber Squirrels each of these have their own story that plays out through the book giving an added value to the picture book beyond the rampaging rabbits!

Oh those naughty rabbits are funny 


Ok the learning element? Though less obvious than the other books you can teach rhythm in poetry using this and there’s a far easier method. Tinyfae and I sing this to the tune of Farmer in the Dell, it helps with understanding not only rhythm but aural recall as one stanza repeats a few times, meaning you can do call and response too. As this is a highly requested book for her, she enjoys this thoroughly meaning we hear her singing it as she plays with her toys- of which she does have a preschool bus with removal bunnies!

What picture books would you recommend for a giggle?

Many thanks to Walker Books for my review copies


2 thoughts on “Three New Picture Books for when you need a laugh (with added stealthy learning!)

  1. I got a copy of Bunnies on the Bus…but its still in work 😭!
    I’ve been hunting for a book for Peapod to get his dad for his birthday and I think the Diddle will do it! Just the thing.
    I really wanted to like The Case of the Missing Cake as I really enjoy Eoin Mclaughlin but *whispers* I just couldn’t get on with the illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I get what you mean about the last one, it’s funny but not my favourite illustrations style. OH NO about Bunnies!!!!
      Diddle is brilliant, you just can’t resist the little windup monster!!

      Liked by 1 person

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