Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins

Perfect to pull out around Halloween time, this book features a series of very funny epitaphs for dead animals.  After the introductory poem to the pet cemetery, readers will discover short poems about specific animals.  There are farm animals like chickens and cows (the cow one happens to be one of my favorites) and more exotic fare like barracuda, iguana and eels.  All dead, for a variety of wild and domestic reasons to hilarious effect.  The poems are riddled with puns, something that I adore.  They are sure to be hits with children when shared aloud or read in person.

Timmins’ art has the same dark humor as the poems themselves.  Make sure you notice the sheep pooping into the river the dead horse just drank out of.  It’s exactly what children will find funny.

Dark and fiercely funny, these poems are not for the preschool set, but will be giggled at galore by elementary aged children.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from library copy.