Books for Little Pranksters



I have many good qualities. I am generally reasonable in a conflict. I like to bake scones. I am an above-average crossword puzzler.

I do not, however, take well to being pranked.

I have a sense of humor. I can theoretically see how the following incident was amusing:

It’s past lights out for the children, but everyone is running late. Meg walks into the bathroom to turn on the water for her daughter to try to save even three minutes of time in the marathon that is bedtime. As usual, even after months of living in her new home, she turns the knob the wrong way and the shower turns on instead of the bath faucet (this is clearly a design flaw and not a personal failing). But wait. Something is wrong! A jet stream of water is spraying her directly in the face! She manages to stop the spray and proceeds to bellow the name of her son. 

At the time, I was only mad. So, so angry. I even claimed my phone was wet, but it wasn’t really. It was safe in my crossbody anti-theft travel pouch that I wear at home as a sort of extra pocket. (I’m truly a spectacularly cool person.)  But when I retold the story to my husband, he chuckled. And I had to admit, it was a pretty solid prank. From turning the shower head just right to setting it to jet stream, my son really did maximize the effect the water had on his unfortunate mother. But unfortunately for him, he then had to deal with Meg the Aggrieved the rest of the night. She’s really a blast.

If you would like to delight your own mischievous little prankster, check out these silly read-alouds:


We read The Magic Word every night for months and giggled every time. Alakazoomba!


Speaking of Mac Barnett, my son highly recommends the chapter book The Terrible Two. I haven’t read this one, but I’ve heard about all the pranks second-hand, and it sounds like a kid-favorite for sure. There are three books in the series, so plenty of vicarious pranking to be had. For more chapter book pranking, you could check out Harry Potter (no one tops the Weasley twins), Matilda (brilliant!) or The Twits (classic).


B.J. Novak pranks the grown-up reader! The Book With No Pictures must be read aloud, but probably not at bedtime, because kids won’t stop giggling.


The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Bill Watterson is the BEST. Every. single. strip. of Calvin and Hobbes is excellent. And for more comic strip pranking, don’t forget about Lucy in PeanutsPoor Charlie Brown.


Check out The Miss Nelson Collection, because kids can’t have all the fun.


Another silly one from the mind of Mac Barnett


It IS.


Now if I could only get my hands on one of those pens


Nothing like pranking a magical being, right?


Speaking of magical beings . . . how did I miss How to Trick the Tooth Fairy in my tooth fairy post??


Sometimes the prankster has your best interests at heart; Tom the Tamer certainly does.


And sometimes they have ulterior motives.  


Refe and Susan Tuma are seriously the coolest parents ever.


Happy reading, and now excuse me while I put a prepared bowl of cereal in the freezer.




2 thoughts on “Books for Little Pranksters

  1. Cosmo loved the The Terrible Two as well and had to read the whole series. Since Glen reads him all of his chapter books aloud that means we read it too. I don’t think you missed much but Glen remembers there was a prankster’s code so maybe it’s a good read for any little prankster at least for the parents sake’.


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