Last Laughs

Authors: J. Patrick Lewis & Jane Yolen

Illustrator: Jeffrey Stewart Timmins

Wander through Amen Creatures Corners, a final resting place for ill-fated creatures of all sorts. Read the epitaphs written there. What you’ll find on those stones is tragic, perhaps . . . but you have to admit, it’s ironic and somehow darkly funny as well.

So . . . Last Laughs is a unique collection, for sure. It is a set of poems describing the ironic ways in which a number of creatures came to their deaths–set in puns and other humorous forms. (It’s kind of like a dark Spoon River Anthology written for kids.) The poems are quite good–crafted by J. Patrick Lewis (Children’s Poet Laureate) and the beloved children’s author Jane Yolen. The poems are funny, that much must be admitted. And the art is fitting–slightly morbid, but in a humorous sort of way. I think Last Laughs is the sort of book that will have two very different reactions depending on the reader: some will appreciate the gallows humor and will love it while others will find it too morbid for words. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure where I fit between the two.

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