Laughter really is the "best medicine." Studies have shown that laughter reduces stress, can boost the level of immune cells, and is good for heart health. These are just some of the benefits of laughter.

While everyone likes to laugh, laughter at the expense of another is cruel. No one likes to be laughed at unless we directly solicit that laughter by intentionally doing something funny, telling a joke, or making fun of ourselves.

Today's reviewed books are loaded with laughs in the best sort of way. Funny books are a great way to get kids interested in reading, and sharing such books with the children in your life will elevate everyone's mood, and maybe their health, too.

Books to Borrow

The following books are available at many public libraries.

"Diary of a Fly" by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss, HarperCollins, 36 pages

Read aloud: age 5 - 6 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 - 8 and older.

This is Fly's diary, chronicling events in her life that are important, scary, and always very funny!

From assignments and new skills Fly learns in school, life at home with Fly's mother and 327 siblings, and hanging out with her best friends, Spider and Worm, Fly's enthusiasm for life is evident. Maybe Fly could even become a superhero!

Another very funny "Diary" book by bestselling team Cronin and Bliss, this selection is every bit as funny as their previous books, "Diary of a Worm" and "Diary of a Spider."

"Even More Parts" written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, Dial Books, 30 pages

Read aloud: age 7 - 9.

Read yourself: age 8 - 9.

The English language has some bizarre expressions, and the boy in this book is scared of a lot of them, so before he goes off to school, he plans on being prepared so that his body parts don't leave him throughout the day.

It's risky business when your teacher says, "I want all eyes on me!" What if this happens? "I got all bent out of shape," could be painful. "It cost an arm and a leg" or "I put my foot in my mouth" would be horrible. Think about it!

Fortunately author/illustrator Tedd Arnold has done just that by combining every day wacky expressions with hilarious illustrations. No doubt about it - this selection will be a huge hit with kids.

Librarian's Choice

Library: Jefferson County Public Library, 420 West Main St., Madison

Library Director: Brent Stokesberry

Children's Librarian: Kara Pettey

Choices this week: "I, Crocodile" by Frank Marcellino; "Beware of the Frog" by William Bee; "Roscoe Riley Rules: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs" by Katherine Applegate

Books to Buy

"File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents" by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Seth, Little Brown, 2014, 263 pages, $12.00 hardcover

Read aloud: age 8 and older.

Read yourself: age 8 - 9 and older.

The bizarre little town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea is experiencing all kinds of problems, and apprentice investigator Lemony Snicket is hot on the trail to solve the mysteries.

Thirteen different incidents are explained in detail by Snicket, with their conclusions catalogued in secret, separate files in the back of the book. From theft to vandalism, ghosts, an identity double and more, this super-sleuth gets to the bottom of each and every incident.

With his usual hilarious signature style of writing that incorporates awesome vocabulary and delightful word play, this latest book from Lemony Snicket will have kids devouring this selection in short order.

"The Hueys in None the Number: A Counting Adventure" written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, Philomel, 2014, 32 pages, $17.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3 - 5.

Read yourself: age 7.

The Hueys, simplistic little egg-shaped characters, have returned in a delightfully funny counting book. Beginning with the question, "Is none a number?" readers can count all the way from none to ten and then, if you take it all away, you're back to none.

But this isn't just your standard counting book. Take the number four, for example. Four represents the number of tantrums Kevin throws every day (with hilarious examples of those tantrums). Or the number nine, represented by the nine seagulls that are dive-bombing poor little Frank, trying to eat his French fries.

Certain to elicit smiles while simultaneously teaching the concept of zero (none) through ten, this clever book is first-rate.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children's literature. She can be reached at