Joke time!

Every Monday night we have family night at our house. And, as part of our family night we have a couple of minutes called Joke Time. We take turns being in charge of Joke Time each week and, let me tell you, it's a fun thing to have in your life.

Well, a few weeks back I got an email asking if I'd like to review a new joke book put out by National Geographic. Yes I would! Levi, my second grader, is big into jokes. Plus we've got Joke Time to think of every week. Sometimes I would try to quickly look up a new joke on the internet, but honestly having a book handy is a little safer, if you're looking for something the whole family can enjoy. (That said, I do have a favorite spot for corny jokes on the internet: Rinkworks.)

So. This new book is called Just Joking Jumbo. It pairs pictures of animals with jokes, funny dialogue and a few facts. The book has 10 chapters with titles like "Far-out Space Silliness," "Hilarious History," and "Nutty Nature."

Puns, question and answer jokes, riddles and knock-knock jokes are all mixed together in a hodgepodge that makes it easy to open the book to any page and find something fun. And I think the full color interior and creative layouts make it really fun to browse through.

But Alysa! Aren't joke books just a frivolous waste of time though? Shouldn't my kid be reading a real book?

No. Let me explain.

There are three reasons I like joke books: I like that they promote 1. independent reading, 2. comprehension and 3. fluency. If your 7-year-old wants to tell you a new joke without spoiling it, he has to read it on his own, think it is funny, practice it, and then present it to you. I can't think of any other type of book that is quite as good for that particular set of skills, and offers success and positive feedback so quickly.

The other thing I like about joke books is that then my kids spontaneously tell me jokes! When Jubilee (age 4) saw I was writing a post about this book she told me her favorite joke from it.

Jubilee: What state is aaalways chewing?
Me: What?
Jubilee: Massachusetts!

For your viewing pleasure, I have a video of Levi telling his favorite one, too.

I thought about giving Just Joking Jumbo as a wrapped gift to Levi this Christmas. It's almost too big to fit in a stocking, but I suppose one could . . . Anyway I decided I'd rather let him enjoy it now. But here's the Amazon link if you want to shop for it or for other joke books or whatever.   

Aaaand just in case you haven't seen it yet, here is a hilarious sketch from our favorite sketch comedy group, Studio C. We all watched this together around Halloween, and it came up at the absolute perfect moment during Joke Time last Monday night.

I died laughing.

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