cover image The Laugh

The Laugh

Fay Evans, illus. by Ayşe Klinge. Flying Eye, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-83874-082-5

A girl honors “a lady who had the loveliest laugh in the world,” remembering the woman’s joyful, constant presence in this moving glimpse of a child navigating loss. In cozy vignettes, the young protagonist, shown with light brown skin, plays, works, and explores the world with the lady, portrayed with light skin and auburn tresses; they’re often joined by an energetic pup and an adult with dark brown skin who cues as the child’s parent. The child recounts hearing the lady’s laughs—by turns loud, contagious, and pretty—until visuals reveal the woman experiencing a serious illness that dims her activity, but never “the smile in her eyes.” Eventually, “One day, the lady died./ And all the laughter went with her.” The girl and caretaker look for the laugh, aware of the hole left behind, until, slowly, the laughter they thought was lost forever returns to their life. Evans’s simple third-person text and Klinge’s vivid mixed-media snapshots and portraiture convey strong emotional beats throughout. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)