cover image Ludlow Laughs

Ludlow Laughs

Jon Agee. Farrar Straus Giroux, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-34666-9

Lurid colors combine with the dense black in Agee's illustrations of a strange tale about louring Ludlow. Born with his mouth in a downward curve, Ludlow never smiles. When he becomes an adult, he works in a complaint department, the right place for a grump. But one night, a funny dream coaxes a laugh out of Ludlow while he sleeps. On the following nights, the dream gets funnier, and all the people in the area roar their laughter in tune with Ludlow. A team from a radio station sets up a microphone in his room and the laughter is flashed around the globe until it stops, as suddenly as it had started. Readers discover, however, that great things happen to affect Ludlow thereafter and they will give a cheer for the erstwhile churl. (6up)