Review: Last Laughs by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen

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.

This Week’s Tweets and Pins

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter and Pinterest accounts that you might find interesting:


For Lois Lowry ‘Brooklyn’ Was Raw And Real : NPR

Interview: Why Lauren Myracle’s Proud to Top ALA’s List of Most Challenged Books | School Library Journal

Katherine Paterson: The Risks of Great Literature – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics #kidlit

Lois Lowry, the Children’s Author Who Actually Listens to Children

Seed of Cartoonist Jeff Kinney’s "Wimpy Kid" Started at the Univ. of Md. – Southern Maryland Headline News

Writing For Teens Vs. Adults: Rowling As Case Study – The Daily Beast


Banned Book Week: 10 Books That Are Way Too Gay To Read! / Queerty

Flavorwire » Famous Authors’ Funniest Responses to Their Books Being Banned

Julia Donaldson on books about libraries – Telegraph #kidlit

KidLitosphere Central – great resource for anyone looking for children’s book blogs #kidlit

Nominate Here for the 2012 Cybils

Story Time: Children’s Book Authors Remember Their Favorite Books #kidlit

Where Do You Find Good Children’s Books? – WSJ – the top answer in the comments is the public library!

Why aren’t there more musical instruments in children’s books? | Children’s books | #kidlit


All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can’t Miss in October!

How ‘The Princess Bride’ Became the Quintessential Teen Read – Entertainment – The Atlantic Wire

Jessica Shirvington’s ‘Embrace’ Heads to Television #yalit

The Rise of Horror: YA Readers and Dark Fiction | VOYA #yalit