Best Kids Books About Mischief

64 Kids Books About Mischief

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich book
#1
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).

The Worst Princess book
#2
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!

Fox and the Jumping Contest book
#3
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
#4
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.

A Dog Named Doug book
#5
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!

I Want My Hat Back book
#6
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.

The Very Very Very Long Dog book
#7
The Very Very Very Long Dog
Written and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

"Oh, Bartelby!" Bartelby is a very long and lovable dachshund who lives in a bookstore. He has a lovely set of friends who take him for walks through the city, but he has no idea that his bumbling backside leaves a trail of destruction and accidents behind him. Embarrassed that he has no control over his back end, Bartelby vows to never leave the cozy bookstore again. Can his friends help him find a way to help himself? This beautifully illustrated picture book features silly fun along with an important message: that we love our friends not in spite of their flaws, but because of them.

Five Little Monkeys Trick-Or-Treat book
#8
Five Little Monkeys Trick-Or-Treat
Written and illustrated by Eileen Christelow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In another adorable story starring Eileen Christelow's mischievous and beloved monkeys, these five silly monkeys go trick-or-treating and fun chaos ensues! Now in paperback. "Another winner." --School Library Journal Five little monkeys dress up for Halloween. They're going trick-or-treating with their favorite babysitter, Lulu. Mama reminds her, "Don't lose the rascals!" But soon those mischievous monkeys meet other costumed friends and decide to try "the best Halloween trick ever!" Will Lulu be fooled? Or will the five little rascals get tricked by their own monkey business? Vibrant, silly, and perfect for reading aloud, this non-scary Halloween story will delight fans of this best-selling series. Includes recipes for "eyeballs" and "worm juice" for kids to try at home.

The Cook and the King book
#9
The Cook and the King
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The king searches his kingdom far and wide for the perfect cook. He’s very particular, and none of the cooks can get the job done just right. Until the king meets Wobbly Bob. The king thinks Wobbly Bob might be the perfect fit, but there’s just one small hitch—Wobbly Bob is afraid of everything. He’s afraid that he’ll nick himself with the sharp kitchen knives, and he’s afraid he’ll get dirt from the vegetable garden on his new apron. Wobbly Bob needs a companion to help him feel brave, so the king himself tags along every step of the way. This tale of unlikely friendship is a fun and hilarious romp from a bestselling team.

The Bear in My Bed book
#10
The Bear in My Bed
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

When a little boy goes into his room for bedtime, he finds out that his bed is already occupied—by a bear (who’s not his teddy bear)! The bear makes a mess with toys, splashes water around the bathtub, and eats books instead of reading them. Not to mention that he doesn’t know how to brush his teeth or wear pajamas! And how is anyone supposed to get any sleep with a bear taking up the whole bed?

Fuddles book
#11
Fuddles
Written and illustrated by Frans Vischer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Fuddles is a fat, lazy housecat who’s never experienced the Great Outdoors. One day, his family leaves the door open a crack and Fuddles seizes the chance to slip out, but things aren’t quite as he expected. In a series of hilarious mishaps, including a run-in with the neighborhood dog, Fuddles realizes that life indoors was actually pretty good. Told with deadpan humor and charming art, Fuddles is sure to steal readers’ hearts.

April Fools', Mr. Todd! book
#12
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?

Fangsgiving book
#13
Fangsgiving
Written and illustrated by Ethan Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Geisel Award-winning author and illustrator Ethan Long turns his attention to the day of thanks with a story that's to die for. It's the fourth Thursday of November, and the members of Fright Club are cooking up something spooky . . . a Thanksgiving feast! But when Vlad's family arrives unexpectedly, they put their own spin on each of the dishes. Now, the rolls are as hard as headstones and the turkey has been cooked to death. Vlad loves his family, but they've made a mess of their meal! Can this monster-filled family come together to save their feast and celebrate what the holiday is truly about?

Ginny Goblin Is Not Allowed to Open This Box book
#14
Ginny Goblin Is Not Allowed to Open This Box
Written by David Goodner and illustrated by Louis Thomas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Ginny Goblin has one simple rule to follow: She is not allowed to open this box. Not until dinnertime. But Ginny Goblin doesn't like to follow the rules, so nothing will stop her from trying to open this box. Not a tall tower, not a misty mountain, not a frightful forest, and certainly not a murky moat filled with scaly, scary serpents . . . But wait! What is in the box? You'll have to open this book to find out! (Don't worry, you're allowed.)

Mr. Monkey Bakes a Cake book
#15
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?

My Lucky Birthday book
#16
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.

Play book
#17
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.

Everyone Toots book
#18
Everyone Toots
Written by Joe Rhatigan and illustrated by Alejandro O'Kif
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates book
#19
Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
Written by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Steven Salerno
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A fun and clever picture book retelling of Goldilocks—with pirates! Once upon a seaworthy sloop lived three pirates: the big, pilfering Papa, the medium-sized, menacing Mama, and the small, bonny Baby, a pirate-in-training. They were excellent pirates, but not very good housekeepers, so their gruel wasn't tasty, their stools weren't sturdy, and their hammocks weren't hung properly. Luckily for them, Goldenlocks happened along when they were out for a row in the harbor. April Jones Prince's rollicking text and Steven Salerno's swashbuckling paintings make Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates a first-rate adventure and a spirited take on Goldilocks.

Monkey's Clever Tale book
#20
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.

Dragons: Father and Son book
#21
Dragons: Father and Son
Written by Alexandre Lacroix and illustrated by Ronan Badel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

To prove to his father that he is a real dragon, young Drake is sent to the local village to cause some mischief and start a fire. But Drake has only ever breathed fire to roast a tasty caterpillar. How will be burn down a whole house? Or a school? Or even an old wooden shack? Has Drake got what it takes to make his father proud? Dragons: Father and Son is a funny and moving story about the bonds between fathers and children, with a positive, peaceful message – and all the magic and mayhem you’d hope for in a tale about dragons.

Drat That Fat Cat! book
#22
Drat That Fat Cat!
Written and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cornelius prefers life on the quiet side. He's orderly and neat and doesn't have time for any ruckus. But his meticulous life soon spins into utter chaos when a suspicious package appears on his doorstop and out pops a wild and crazy fat cat! This fat cat is stinky, mischievous, messy, and loud! With every new and not-so-fun adventure, Cornelius's patience begins to fray. Will the cat have enough convincing power to win over the heart of Cornelius, or will he need to look elsewhere for a forever home?

Everybody’s Favorite Book book
#23
Everybody’s Favorite Book
Written by Mike Allegra and illustrated by Claire Almon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Anyone who says, “You can’t please everybody,” isn’t trying hard enough. At least, that’s what the cheeky narrator of this book thinks! A “good” book may have a spaceman or a ninja or a cowboy, but Everybody’s Favorite Book has something better: a Space Ninja Cow. And that’s only the beginning. You like princesses? We got 'em. Prefer a mystery? No sweat. Want the definition of "gallimaufry"? A good poop joke? A giant, carnivorous guinea pig? Check, check, and check. And there's more! Much more! This book has everything, for everybody! Here’s hoping things don’t go awry. (Spoiler, they do.) Okay then, here’s hoping it’s still your favorite book anyway.

Five Little Monkeys 5-Minute Stories book
#24
Five Little Monkeys 5-Minute Stories
Written and illustrated by Eileen Christelow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Eight exciting adventures with the five little monkeys are packed into one beautiful treasury. Each story can be read aloud in just five minutes! There's plenty of monkey business in this collection of eight funny stories about the five little monkeys by best-selling author-illustrator Eileen Christelow. Come along with the lovable monkeys on their mischievous adventures as they do everything from jump on the bed to bake a cake to tease a hungry crocodile--and much more. With a padded cover, full-color illustrations, and stories that can be read aloud in just five minutes, this is the perfect book for bedtime, storytime, anytime!

Pedro Goes Buggy book
#25
Pedro Goes Buggy
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Pedro collects a lot of different bugs for a class assignment, but when his brother lets them out in the house their parents are furious, and ban any further collecting.

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