cover image Last Laughs

Last Laughs

J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, illus. by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins. Charlesbridge, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-260-5

Lewis and Yolen team up for a darkly funny homage to the dearly departed—those with feathers, hooves, tails, and fins. An axe leans against a blood-stained stump while three feathers drift nearby (“Sorry, no leftovers,” reads a turkey’s epitaph), and a barracuda is destroyed by a superior predator: “My teeth were vicious;/ my bite was hateful./ A great white met me—/ the date was fateful.” Timmins’s bleak, blood-spattered palette and zombielike animals create an appropriately dismal environment for the funereal text; lovers of the macabre will cackle over these unfortunate demises. Ages 7–10. (July)