Over 150 jokes and a bunch of cartoons especially for kids and kids at heart. Jokes are a great way to encourage reading. Book Forward - Note to parents By Geri Copitch In addition to just being fun, jokes and joke telling introduce children to important skills they will need to be successful children, and later successful adults. Through joke telling even the shyest kids can practice acceptable social interaction with peers. Additionally, they explore language with it’s nuances, alliterations, and play on words. What a delight! Most school curriculum stress the importance of developing speaking and listening skills. Without knowing it, our kids are practicing these very skills when they work on honing their joke delivery (how well they tell the joke) and ‘getting’ the punchline - which often is built on a play on words - What do you call a sleeping bull? A bulldozer! or a sudden twist - A plane crashes on the border of the USA and Canada. Where do you bury the survivors? Silly, you don’t bury survivors! In California, where I have taught for close to twenty years, fourth and fifth graders are expected to learn and use different types of figurative language. Jokes are a wonderful way to practice these. For example personification - giving animals or objects human qualities - Why did the elephant paint her toenails different colors? So she could hide in the jellybeans! Or hyperbole - using outrageous exaggeration - Your momma is so old she sat next to George Washington in second grade! Other important speaking skills include using tone and inflection, phrasing, modulation, and verbal cues. You have to say these just right to get your point across: Who wrote these books? How to Waste Time, by I. Doolittle; Attack From Another World, by Ray Gunn; I Can’t Hear You, by Danielle Lauder. The infamous knock-knock joke uses many of these oral language skills. Knock-knock Who’s there? Juicy-Juicy who? Juicy where I left my bike? I can’t find it! What child hasn’t rolled on the floor with laughter after telling one of these. In a world where children often have to do what adults want them to do, the process of telling a joke lets the child be the leader and control the situation, for a moment, in a positive way. Jokes break the ice and give kids a ‘safe’ and comfortable way to engage others they normally feel shy or uncomfortable around. They provide ways to use language and words to build pictures in new and different ways. And of course, laughter is the best medicine.