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Mischief and Animals: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about mischief is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From When Your Llama Needs a Haircut to Everyone Toots there’s something here for everyone’s tastes. Do you have a favorite book about mischief? Let us know!

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When Your Llama Needs a Haircut
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill & 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!

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Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written & 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.

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Clover Fields Fiasco
Written by Cari Meister & illustrated by Stephen Park Gilpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Princess is a show pony who is absolutely convinced that she is a cat and needs to hunt for her dinner, Blizzard (otherwise known as Snowy) is a Shetland pony who needs material for the book he is writing, and Sebastian is a draft horse who knows how to break out of the barn; so together the Tres Caballos Incognito set out for the clover fields looking for adventure—where Princess chases a squirrel and gets stuck in a tree.

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The Magic Word
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Elise Parsley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A hilarious take on what a magic word really is from Mac Barnett, the award-winning, bestselling author of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn, and Elise Parsley, the bestselling author/illustrator of If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! and If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t! When Paxton C. Heymeyer’s babysitter tells him to say the magic word, she could never have imagined that what would happen next would be a walrus chasing her, an elephant in the living room playing cards, and a full water park and moat in the front yard. And that’s just the beginning…

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Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Written by Mo O'Hara & illustrated by Marek Jagucki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In the first of two stories, zombie goldfish Frankie is good at saving the day, but the medieval day reenactment joust may be too much, and in the second story, Tom’s evil brother clones a Jurassic carp, putting the school in danger.

The Piano book
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Ginger Green is Absolutely MAD for Birthday Parties (Mostly) book
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I Want My Hat Back book
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No Frogs in School book
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  • The Piano - What do you do when a piano shows up in your yard? Take a cat-nap? Use it as a coffee table? What’s a band to do when one of its instruments goes missing? And what does a yellow sock have to do with anything? Join Filippa and friends in a whacky adventure when they wake up to find a piano in the front yard. Kids will love the bright and whimsical artwork in this book as they find out how the piano is returned to the band, new friends are found, and music is made.

  • Ginger Green is Absolutely MAD for Birthday Parties (Mostly) - Ginger is turning EIGHT and she’s having an exceptionally royal princess party! There will be crowns, a fancy castle cake, and even SPARKLE SLIME. But what happens when Crazy Maisy and No-Pants Penny get out of control?

  • I Want My Hat Back - 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.

  • No Frogs in School - Bartholomew Botts loves pets—but his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, says No Frogs in School! So what will happen when Bartholomew’s beloved creatures meet up with Mr. Patanoose’s rules? Lots of FUN! Hoppy pets, hairy pets, scaly pets: Bartholomew Botts loves them all. And he doesn’t want to go to school without one. Unfortunately, when Bartholomew brings his brand-new frog to class, his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, declares: No frogs in school! How will Bartholomew keep his animal friends close at hand . . . and follow Mr. Patanoose’s rules, too? Illustrated with energetic and humorous artwork, this back-to-school story will be a favorite with every animal-loving kid!

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What the Ladybug Heard at the Zoo
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Lydia Monks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Ladybug is ready for a vacation! When she flies into the city, the last thing she expects is to run into those no-good robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len. This time, the dastardly duo have their sights set on Monkey Joe, resident of the local zoo—with his help, they hope to break into the Queen’s palace! It will take all the animals, including the Queen’s famous corgis, to put an end to this royal mischief. Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks have done it again in this latest laugh-out-loud romp!

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Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost Kitten
Written by Anica Mrose Rissi & 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?

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Microsaurs: Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack
Written by Dustin Hansen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Tiny dinosaurs lead to big adventures in this second action-packed Microsaurs chapter book.

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Dream Big and Other Life Lessons from the Enormous Crocodile
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A darkly funny gift book based on Roald Dahl’s beloved story The Enormous Crocodile, featuring art by Quentin Blake. The Enormous Crocodile has been employing “secret plans and clever tricks” for years, hoping to one day score his favorite meal: a juicy little child. And finally, he shares his wit and wisdom with a world hungry for his sage advice. Find out all of our devious villain’s tips and advice in this grim, but humorous gift book perfect for fans of All My Friends Are Dead. And with Quentin Blake’s illustrations, this full-color book will have readers plotting their own clever tricks in no time.

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Inky the Octopus
Written & illustrated by Erin Guendelsberger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Out of this tank, I must be free.I must explore the open sea!Inky the octopus is bored with aquarium life and wants to escape to the ocean! But just how can an octopus in a tank get to the open seas? Find out in Inky the Octopus, the only tale of the mischievous octopus to be officially endorsed by the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

What the Ladybug Heard Next book
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Tales for the Perfect Child book
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Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To book
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When Your Monkeys Won't Go to Bed book
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  • What the Ladybug Heard Next - Out of jail and up to no good, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len are robbers on a mission. They’ve been stealing eggs from the fat red hen, and now they have their eyes set on the real prize—the fat red hen herself. They think their plan is foolproof, but they haven’t counted on one very tiny, very quiet thing. The ladybug has outsmarted these bandits once—and she’s ready to do it again!

  • Tales for the Perfect Child - Sergio Ruzzier brings his mischievous touch to a timeless favorite by Florence Parry Heide, beloved author of The Shrinking of Treehorn. This delightful new edition includes one never-before-published story. Ruby is reliable (kinda). Arthur is careful (sorta). Harry eats his carrots (though it depends on what you mean by “eat”). And just like all perfect children, Gloria helps her mother (well, that might be an exaggeration). As the eight deliciously wicked tales featured in this hilarious chapter book prove, it’s perfectly nice to be a perfect child—but where’s the fun in that?

  • Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To - In this new edition of the classic companion to Tales for the Perfect Child, Sergio Ruzzier lends his signature humor to Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Worth Van Clief’s delectably subversive fables. Genevieve is careless. Muriel is discontented. Phoebe is always putting off until tomorrow what she should be doing today. And Chester is the laziest turkey you ever heard of. Caleb and Conrad, on the other hand, are polite and kind and thoughtful and gracious and truthful. But some good that does them! If the morals you find in these pages aren’t exactly, well, moral…just don’t pay any attention to them!

  • When Your Monkeys Won't Go to Bed - When your monkeys won’t go to bed, you’ll have to use lots of tricks to make them sleepy! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to tire out two wide-awake monkeys! Do your monkeys go wild at bedtime? When your monkeys won’t go to bed, you’ll have to be smart. After you race them upstairs and trick them into the tub, it’s time to convince them to get into bed. Let them pick out a good book—or five—and snuggle in close. But be careful…or you just might fall asleep, too!

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The Emperor's Ostrich
Written by Julie Berry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Magic and mayhem abound in this middle-grade fantasy adventure from Julie Berry, the author of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. Young dairymaid Begonia has lost her cow Alfalfa. So she has set off on a search across the countryside even though she has nothing but a magical map to guide her. Along the way she meets a mother and baby, a woodcutter, a very dirty young man, and an eight-foot ostrich. Meanwhile, the emperor has gone missing from the royal palace in a most mysterious manner. Was it murder? Was it magic? It will take all of Begonia’s wits to save the empire and get Alfalfa home safely. The Emperor’s Ostrich: “Cheeky commentary about class and feminism, giggle-inducing wordplay, and jokes about the ridiculousness of imperial overindulgence round out this story. Readers looking for easy laughs will find them here.” —Kirkus Reviews “Berry (The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place) creates a lively, magic-laced folktale featuring a self-centered emperor, a dairymaid, a farmer boy with grand romantic ideals, and two very stubborn animals. . . . Whimsical details, including an enchanted map and a pot of mustard that changes flavor, will delight readers, and the nonstop action will keep them on the edge of their seats.” —Publishers Weekly “This whimsical, rambling adventure also serves as a coming-of-age tale. . . . This novel is well written and well executed, with Berry’s clear prose holding together a complicated plot and increasingly eccentric cast of characters. . . . Give to kids who enjoy a clever story and don’t mind a strong dose of silliness, or to anyone who loves the idea of a cow who becomes besotted with an ostrich.” —School Library Journal

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The Great Chicken Escape
Written & illustrated by Nikki McClure
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A wordless picture book in which chickens flee their coop at an Alaskan monastery and four, eluding the nuns, enjoy a day in the forest before returning home to roost. Features cut-paper artwork and a die-cut cover.

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Microsaurs: That's MY Tiny-Saurus Rex
Written by Dustin Hansen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Danny and Lin are determined to be the best Microsaur sitters ever! Sure, things got a little out of control with the tiny-raptors and the Professor’s lab might have gotten a bit… destroyed. BUT it’s all going to be absolutely fine. After all, they have a plan!

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Llama Destroys the World
Written by Jonathan Stutzman & illustrated by Heather Fox
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Llama, the next great picture-book megastar, who has most definitely driven a bus and who loves tacos way more than you. He also loves cake, and that’s where our story begins. On Monday, Llama discovers a pile of cake, which he promptly eats. On Tuesday, Llama squeezes into his dancing pants, which he promptly rips. The force of the rip creates a black hole (naturally). By Friday, Llama will (indirectly) destroy the world. In their debut picture book, author/illustrator team Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox introduce young readers to the comical, the studious, the oblivious Llama, a picture-book hero for the ages. So grab some cake and your dancing pants and prepare for Llama Destroys the World… because THE TIME FOR LLAMA IS NIGH!

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Our Principal Is a Frog!
Written by Stephanie Calmenson & illustrated by Aaron Blecha
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A uniquely green principal named Mr. Bundy runs PS 88 in this funny fairy tale take-off that launches Aladdin QUIX, a new line of fun-to-read short chapter books that are perfect for emerging readers!

When Marty Q. Marvel the magician accidentally turns Mr. Bundy into a frog, the students of PS 88 don’t know what to do. It’s not always easy having a slimy, green-skinned amphibian for a principal, especially when Mr. Bundy starts playing leapfrog in the gym, swimming in the kindergarten sink, and eating the students’ bug collections! Will Mr. Bundy ever be his old self again?

Chicken Talk book
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Everyone Toots book
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  • Chicken Talk - The chickens on the farm have a message for their farm owners! They’re tired of arugula salad, how about putting a fan in their hot coop, and HEY—watch out for that snake in your tent. As the children walk around their beloved farm, they discover more and more chicken talk scratched into the dirt. The family can hardly believe it. What will the chickens possibly say next!? With beautiful watercolor illustrations from New York Times bestseller Jarrett J. Krosoczka and heartwarming text by Newbery Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachlan, Chicken Talk is the perfect book to chuckle over, whether you live in the city or the country. Gather your family around for a delightful tale of surprise, chaos, and barnyard fun in Chicken Talk!

  • Everyone Toots - Just like the title says, everyone toots. For the child who just doesn’t believe us, here’s the book that proves it. Does Dad toot? Yes. Does Mom toot? Of course! How about the president? Indeed. At once silly, mischievous, and wacky while also being informative and perhaps even a tad comforting. Everyone Toots, keeps it as tasteful as possible while also tickling everyone’s funny bone. The rhyming text and incredibly funny illustrations by Alejandro O’Kif will keep kids coming back for another round of unicorns, elephants, big brothers, ballerinas, princesses, astronauts and more passing a little gas.

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