Cover of Last Laughs by Jane Yolen and J. Patrick Lewis

Last Laughs: Prehistoric Epitaphs

I can’t seem to get away from dinosaurs! Here J. Patrick Lewis (former Children’s Poet Laureate) and I have done a picture book’s worth of humorous poems about the “interesting” demises of prehistoric creatures, from trilobites to T Rex to dire wolves.

As in writing the earlier book: Last Laughs Animal Epitaphs, which starred modern creatures and bugs, We had a ball writing this and clearly the illustrator Jeffrey Stewart Timmins did, too.

Here is one of my poems, which opens the volume.

Last Laugh Layers

Here the ancient seas are dry.
Here the gravesites all pile high.
Here Jurassic, Cenozoic;
all dead fossils, some heroic.
Some in pieces, tooth and nail,
lie buried in the local shale.

The dino wake starts. Goodness gracious,
time to party through Cretaceous.
Here’s a glass, so meteoric,
raised to toast the prehistoric.
Do we miss them? Now and then.
But we survivors say, “Amen.”

©2017 Jane Yolen

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What reviewers have said:

  • *STARRED REVIEW* “Those itching to move beyond the positive messages and bright colors so ubiquitous in picture books will find this just the thing to elicit appreciative playground groans. Gallows humor at its finest.” — Booklist
  • “Lewis and Yolen accomplish a rare feat—creating a sequel superior to the first…A witty poetry read-aloud that just may spark independent research in dinosaur enthusiasts.” — School Library Journal