Books have the wonderful power to entertain readers in ways that spark our imagination. In these humorous picture books we are drawn to the story through   comical characters, including ninja chickens, a cranky sasquatch, a popular slice of bacon, and a sad toilet. At least one of these funny stories is sure to make young readers laugh.

“Billy’s Booger: A Memoir”, by William Joyce, 2015, Atheneum, ages 6-10.

The multi-talented author, illustrator, film director and producer William Joyce tells of his humble beginnings as a writer in his memoir “Billy’s Booger”, the title of the first book he wrote in 4th grade. Even as a young writer, Joyce infused humor and adventure to make his stories appealing to children. William Joyce may be known to readers for his work on “Toy Story”, “A Bug’s Life”, and “Rolie Polie Olie”, and also as the author of the “Guardians of Childhood” series, which led to the movie “Rise of the Guardians”.

“Hansel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks” by Corey Rosen Schwartz & Rebecca J. Gomez, Illustrated by Dan Santat, 2016, Putnam, ages 5-8.

Ninja chicks, Hansel and Gretel, set out in search of their Ma and Pa. In the dark, tangled forest, they come up a wicked fox in a corn bread cottage and are captured. The two young birds must use all of their ninja cunning to escape or they will end up chicken-pot-pied. “Hansel and Gretel” join the series of other ninja-fied traditional tales, including “Three Ninja Pigs” and “Ninja Red Riding Hood”.

“Don’t Splash the Sasquatch!” by Kent Redeker, Illustrated by Bob Staake, 2016, ages 3-7.

If a sasquatch gets wet, he gets all squizzlefied, so splashing him at the swimming pool is a big no-no. But Miss Elephant Shark, Mr. Octo-Rhino, and Miss Goat-Whale all want to play in the pool, and not splashing is impossible! Hilarious illustrations and creative vocabulary describe this rollicking pool party.

“Everyone Loves Bacon” by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by Eric Wight, 2015, ages 3-7.

Bacon is a star at the café, being adored by lettuce, tomato, avocado, and many others. Who wouldn’t love bacon – the delicious smell, taste, and of course his charming stories and funny jokes. But Bacon let his fans and popularity, and being the “toast of the town” go to his head – that is until the fateful day he is put into his rightful place.

“The Saddest Toilet in the World”, by Sam Apple, Illustrated by Sam Ricks, 2016, Aladdin, ages 3-7.

Young Danny was just not sure he wanted to use the big-boy toilet, and this hurt the toilet’s feelings. Just before Danny decided he was ready, the toilet had decided to leave home and head out into the world. Sadly, Danny and his parents searched all the usual places for their toilet – bathroom stalls, hardware stores. But it’s a ride on the subway that reunited toilet and family. The humor of seeing a toilet as a character, with feelings, enjoying a movie, a museum, a game of checkers, and Time Square may just be zany enough to motivate some reluctant youngsters to give the toilet a try.

Review by Elizabeth Dobler