Best Children's Books About Mischief

87+ Children's Books About Mischief

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
The Worst Princess book
#1
The Worst Princess
Written by Anna Kemp and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, Anna Kemp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bored of your run-of-the-mill princesses? Tired of traditional princess-finds-her-prince tale? Looking for a princess with a bit more bite? Then this is the book for you. Forget about pretty dresses, fairytale wedding and grand balls, Princess Sue is all about adventure, mischief and making unusual friends. She really is the worst princess!

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich book
#2
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bear meets sandwich, adventure ensues. . . . A sly classic-in-the-making for fans of Jon Klassen, Peter Brown, and Mo Willems. By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened. So let me tell you. It all started with the bear . . . So begins Julia Sarcone-Roach’s delicious tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale. The wonderfully told story, spectacular illustrations, and surprise ending make this Julia Sarcone-Roach’s best book to date. You’ll want to share it with your friends (and keep a close eye on your lunch).

When Your Llama Needs a Haircut book
#3
When Your Llama Needs a Haircut
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

When it’s picture day and you realize your llama needs a haircut, you’ll need a good comb and some luck! This charming and hilarious board book features one shaggy llama and a whole lot of hairstyles! Uh-oh. It’s picture day and someone's a mess! Does your llama need a haircut? After a hilarious shampoo, it’s time to decide which style would be best for your shaggy llama. A mohawk? Layers? Or how about a brand-new fur color? But be careful…or you just might end up with a haircut, too!

Fox and the Jumping Contest book
#4
Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fox and the Jumping Contest is a funny, surprising picture book starring Fox—a lovable modern-day trickster character—and his animal friends, from debut author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor. Fox really, really wants to win the jumping contest. He knows just where he’ll put that first-place trophy. The only problem? Fox is not a very good jumper. But he is a very good schemer. . . . Fox and the Jumping Contest is a perfect pick for readers who enjoy humorous picture books like The Day the Crayons Quit and Dragons Love Tacos.

Mustache Baby book
#5
Mustache Baby
Written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Joy Ang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When Baby Billy is born with a mustache, his family takes it in stride. They are reassured when he nobly saves the day in imaginary-play sessions as a cowboy or cop and his mustache looks good-guy great. But as time passes, their worst fears are confirmed when little Billy’s mustache starts to curl up at the ends in a suspiciously villainous fashion. Sure enough, “Billy’s disreputable mustache led him into a life of dreadful crime.” Plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and cartoonish illustrations make this the perfect baby-shower gift for a mustachioed father-to-be.

April Fools', Mr. Todd! book
#6
April Fools', Mr. Todd!
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

It’s April Fools' Day — and Judy’s birthday — and Mr. Todd has a trick or two of his own planned in the latest Judy Moody tale for newly independent readers. April Fools' Day just happens to be one of Judy Moody’s favorite days of the year. And this year she’s got one thing on her mind: the perfect prank she’s going to play on Mr. Todd, thanks to an awesome present from her brother, Stink. Gotcha, Mr. Todd! But in all the excitement over spaghetti trees, April fish, and fools' errands, Judy worries that something else will be forgotten by Mr. Todd and Class 3T altogether: April 1 also happens to be Judy’s birthday! Gulp! Will her friends remember in time, or will Judy be the fool this year? And just what might Mr. Todd have up his sleeve?

Big Time Olie book
#7
Big Time Olie
Written and illustrated by William Joyce
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Poor Olie. He’s is too Rolie big to do this, too Rolie small to do that. But a turn with the shrink-and-grow-a-lator should fix all that…until Olie grows too much in this classic picture book-turned-beloved-TV-show from the brilliant mind that brought you The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Rolie Polie Olie grows a little every day, but his parents say he’s still not big enough for a trip to Mount Big Ball. At the same time Pappy says Olie is too big to jump on his bed! Olie feels like he isn’t the right size for anything. Then he gets a big and really bad idea: He’ll use the shrink-and-grow-a-lator. But he presses the wrong button, and now he’s a small as his sister Zowie’s dollies! Olie finds the “bigger” button lickety-split and up, up, UP he grows… But being grown up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either. Olie bonks his head on the moon, burns his bottom on the sun, and lands with a big KABOOM on Mount Big Ball. Lost and lonely and so, so tall, Olie wishes he could be back to being just plain Olie!

My Lucky Birthday book
#8
My Lucky Birthday
Written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A hilarious trickster tale companion to the story time hit My Lucky Day. Just as Alligator Al is planning the perfect birthday dinner for himself, there is a knock on his door. It’s a delicious-looking piglet—how lucky! But as Al prepares his feast, the piglet makes some suggestions. Shouldn’t Al have a big birthday cake? Piglet can tell him how to make one. And wouldn’t the celebration be more fun with fancy decorations and party guests? Piglet would be happy to ask some friends to come over. Al is so lucky that Piglet is there to help…or is he? Could Piglet have a clever party trick up his sleeve? Fans of trickster tales, rooting for the underdog, and the proven crowd favorite My Lucky Day will be thrilled to see who turns out to have the luckiest birthday of all.

Time-Out for Sophie book
#9
Time-Out for Sophie
Written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Although Sophie wants to be helpful and good, sometimes she ignores her mother, father, and grandmother and must have a time-out.

Boy book
#10
Boy
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Find out where the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG got all his wonderful story ideas in this autobiographical account of his childhood! From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl’s tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury’s? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don’t yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed!

Big Nate: Silent But Deadly book
#11
Big Nate: Silent But Deadly
Written by Lincoln Peirce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

"These strips appeared in newspapers from October 6, 2013, through March 29, 2014."--Copyright page.

Boing! book
#12
Boing!
Written by Tim McCanna and illustrated by Jorge Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A great, big AH-CHOO! sends a Xavier’s bouncy ball flying! With a BOP! BIFF! BOOM! it sails out the window. Then a CLASH CLANK! DINK! DONK! That ball is loooooong gone. Will Xavier get it back? Follow the letters of the alphabet as the ball bounces and wreaks havoc through the city and find out!

The Peter Rabbit Oversized Padded Board Book book
#13
The Peter Rabbit Oversized Padded Board Book
Written by Beatrix Potter and illustrated by Charles Santore
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

The beloved tale of Peter Rabbit is now available in a beautiful oversized padded board book format, featuring original Charles Santore illustrations. The beloved classic tale of mischievous Peter Rabbit is now available as a stunning oversized padded board book featuring original illustrations from New York Times bestselling artist Charles Santore. From a frightening journey out of Mr. McGregor’s garden to his fir-tree home with Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, Peter Rabbit leads the most risky and adventurous life of the bunnies. After losing his shoes and new blue jacket with brass buttons, he narrowly escapes his demise and makes it home sickly, but safely. Incredible illustrations with the finest details capture these classic moments, printed on sturdy board stock that will withstand years and generations of repeated reading and handling. This edition is a must-have for every child’s library.

A Dog Named Doug book
#14
A Dog Named Doug
Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Matt Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Doug. Doug is a dog that loves to dig. But when Doug digs he doesn’t just dig holes in the backyard. He digs...ditches the size of tractors! He digs...tunnels through gold mines! He even digs his way into...the White House! But not even the Secret Service can stop this digging doggy, because when Doug digs, oh boy, does Doug DIG!

Monkey's Clever Tale book
#15
Monkey's Clever Tale
Written by Andrew Fusek Peters and illustrated by Amanda Montgomery-Higham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The mischievous Ameerah Monkey promises Crocodile her tail and those of her parents, brothers, and sisters in exchange for a ride across the river in this version of a Jataka tale from India.

I Want My Hat Back book
#16
I Want My Hat Back
Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor — and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke. A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2011! A picture-book delight by a rising talent tells a cumulative tale with a mischievous twist.

Our Principal Is a Wolf! book
#17
Our Principal Is a Wolf!
Written by Stephanie Calmenson and illustrated by Aaron Blecha
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A unique principal named Mr. Bundy runs PS 88 in this silly, fun-to-read Aladdin QUIX chapter book that’s perfect for emerging readers! In this Mr. Bundy (mis)adventure, the Big Bad Wolf has gobbled up Mr. Bundy and his assistant principal Ms. Moore! Will the kids of PS 88 outsmart the ravenous wolf to get Mr. Bundy back?

Roald Dahl's Mischief and Mayhem book
#18
Roald Dahl's Mischief and Mayhem
Written by Roald Dahl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Pranks, tricks, mischief, and more in this ideal companion book to Roald Dahl’s beloved novels! Professional tricksters put your cunning to the test. Inside this wicked little book you’ll find step-by-step instructions for making mischief and mayhem as well as outrageous jokes, fiendish quizzes, and a few smelly surprises. Includes extracts from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, The Witches, and more. Like The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets, this book is a wonderful complement to Roald Dahl novels, with tons of great extras fans will love. It’s the perfect way to complete your Dahl collection!

Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost Kitten book
#19
Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost Kitten
Written by Anica Mrose Rissi and illustrated by Meg Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Anna and Banana rescue a stray kitten in the fifth book of this “fast-paced, fun, and funny” (Megan McDonald, bestselling author of the Judy Moody series) illustrated chapter book series about the joys and challenges of elementary school friendships. Anna and Banana have found a kitten! But when Banana accidentally scares the kitten away during their afternoon walk, Anna enlists her two best friends, Sadie and Isabel, for OPERATION CATCH THE KITTEN. Anna can’t image such a tiny kitten living outside all by himself, and she’s determined to find him a good home. But catching a kitten is trickier than Anna thought—kittens are easily scared and very stealthy. Then there’s the problem of finding him a good home. Sadie’s mom has a “No Pets” rule, Isabel’s cat, Mewsic, does not play well with other animals, and Anna’s dad is allergic to cats! Anna and her friends desperately want to help, but will they be able to find the kitten a good home?

Big Nate: a Good Old-Fashioned Wedgie book
#20
Big Nate: a Good Old-Fashioned Wedgie
Written and illustrated by Lincoln Peirce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

Join the unstoppable Big Nate for another round of middle school adventures! From homework and hygiene to hilarious hiijnks - no one quite does sixth grade like Nate and his friends. Need a way to shut up some snooty kid when he gloats about his private school? Looking for the perfect response when your best friend joins the grammar police? Want a quick and easy way to out-snap even the snappiest comeback? Nate Wright has the answer: a good old-fashioned wedgie! The whole gang from P.S. 38 is back for more hijinks, hilarity, and underwear hoisting in this new collection of Big Nate comics. Can Chad somehow survive on a diet of kale and soy nuts? Are Jenny and Artur EVER going to break up? And how is Nate supposed to concentrate on baseball when he's got a crush on his team's new pitcher? See for yourself! Join Nate and the rest of the crew for another unforgettable round of middle school adventures!

Heidi Heckelbeck Is So Totally Grounded! book
#21
Heidi Heckelbeck Is So Totally Grounded!
Written by Wanda Coven and illustrated by Priscilla Burris
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

When a cleaning spell goes awry, Heidi gets so totally grounded in the twenty-fourth Heidi Heckelbeck adventure! When Mom asks for help cleaning the house, Heidi takes her magic a little too far. After all, who really wants to deal with all that dust, dirt, and grime? Not Heidi, that’s who! So she creates a cleaning helper named Dusty to do her dirty work. There’s only one problem: Dusty isn’t the most careful cleaner, and when he accidentally breaks Mom’s favorite vase, Heidi gets so totally grounded. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Sam the Man & the Dragon Van Plan book
#22
Sam the Man & the Dragon Van Plan
Written by Frances O’Roark Dowell and illustrated by Amy June Bates
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Sam the Man is back with not one, but TWO plans in this third hilarious chapter book in the Sam the Man series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam Graham is a dragon fan and a big truck man. Monster trucks to be specific. And when the family minivan needs replacing, Sam has the perfect plan: get a family monster truck instead! But convincing Mom that a monster truck is the way to go may prove to be a little too difficult, even for Sam. So he comes up with another plan: Turn the minivan into a monster minivan with a super-cool dragon painted on it! First, though, Sam has to convince his family why a monster minivan is the best choice—oh, and learn how to paint a dragon…

Mr. Monkey Bakes a Cake book
#23
Mr. Monkey Bakes a Cake
Written and illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mr. Monkey bakes a cake. He can’t wait to win a ribbon! But first he has to carry it to the contest. What could possibly go wrong?

Play book
#24
Play
Written and illustrated by Jez Alborough
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

For the perfect bedtime story, the inimitable Bobo the chimp returns in another book of very few words -- and very big heart. It's bedtime for Bobo, but the little chimp isn't ready to stop playing for the day. So he hitches a ride on an obliging giraffe, only to be carried back to his mother when she calls. His mother tells him again to stay, but Bobo can't help catching a lift on the back of a turtle to see what's across the pond and on top of a nearby hill. Now it's getting dark, and he's all alone, with no idea how to get home. "Mommy!" Every mischievous child who has ever resisted bedtime will take comfort in this lighthearted ode to the bond between mother and child -- and the community of friends that surrounds them.

The Twits book
#25
The Twits
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, nastiest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything—except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.