Giggles and Laughs: Connecting with Humor in Picture Books, Early Readers, and Chapter Books

Online | Picture Books, Early Readers and Chapter Books
New readers love to laugh! Learn the "why" of writing with humor for children, and help your story connect and resonate with this age group. Then learn strategies to find the right level of funny in your picture books, early readers, and chapter books.

March 18 @ 7:00 pm - March 20 @ 7:00 pm




A Two-Night Mini Online Course

New readers love to laugh!  When we consider crafting humor for picture books, early readers, and chapter books, it’s important to learn the “why,” to help your story connect and resonate with this age group.  But then how do you find the right level of funny? How do you find the right tone and voice? How do you layer humor into your plot in a way that works?

If your humor feels hindered, join Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen to explore seven concrete ways to be funnier and an additional seven ways to write funnier. This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

  • Monday, March 18, 2024 (7pm – 8:15pm Eastern)
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024 (7pm – 8:15pm Eastern)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat
  • Recordings available until April 30, 2024

Why This Workshop?

Humor is a staple of picture books, early readers, and chapter books, for good reason!

Is your humor somewhat hindered? Join Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen in exploring seven concrete ways to be funnier and an additional seven ways to write funnier. This mini-workshop will help expand your comedic talents to make your readers howl with laughter (or, at least, snicker at opportune times).

In this short course, you will learn:

  • The “why” of humor for this age group.
  • How to layer humor successfully into your plot (without sacrificing the story’s theme).
  • Tips for crafting humor that resonates emotionally.
  • And much more!

Feedback Expected

  • No feedback included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are starting out as a picture book author, and are looking for ways to layer humor into your stories.
  • You write for early readers and/or chapter books. Your readers are leaning on their own background knowledge with limited images; this course can help you understand how to make humor and emotions land.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop; they are short sessions meant to engage and build an understanding of infusing humor into your picture books, early readers, and chapter books.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.


If you are unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through April 30, 2024.

Please note that if you register for the course after the start of the first session, you will not receive recordings immediately.  You’ll receive both recordings after the close of the last session, usually within 24 hours.

All Times are Eastern Time.  Click on the headings below to explore the agenda in more detail.

Part One: Monday, March 18, 2024 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • The Basics of Humor
  • How to BE Funny (Examples and Analysis)
  • Try This! (A hands-on exercise)
Part Two: Wednesday, March 20, 2024 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • How to WRITE Funny (Examples and Analysis)
  • Differences in Writing Humor for Picture Books, Chapter Books and Early Readers
  • Try This! (A hands-on exercise)
  • Q&A

How It Impacts Kids

Humor engages readers on an emotional level. For new readers, this connection makes a picture book, early reader, or chapter book the kind of story to read again and again.

Testimonials from Our Community

“Sudipta taught with great energy, practical advice, and contagious humor.”

“Sudipta provided a wealth of information in the coursework and was very generous with her time… She knows her stuff!”

“Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen did a fabulous job teaching, introducing concepts, answering questions, and making everyone feel welcome.”

“I knew I could not attend in person but I signed up because you offered the recording. Having that option was invaluable.”

“Keep the mini courses going for those of us that can’t attend at the Highlights Foundation Campus! It helps us stay in touch and keep our skills growing!!

Meet the Faculty


March 18 @ 7:00 pm - March 20 @ 7:00 pm




When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Partners & Sponsors

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.