199. “Don’t laugh, Joe!” by Keiko Kasza

Yesterday  I told you about my son’s love for Keiko Kasza’s work. Today I have a proof: another book by this great children’s writer and illustrator. We’ve been reading her stories for a few days now. And if yesterday’s recommendation made you smile, today’s will make you burst in giggles.

Joe the Possum was about to learn how to play dead. (I know, playing dead does not really agree with children’s literature, does it?  This line was actually the reason why I dismissed this book some time ago. But I missed the point: Joe was a possum and playing dead is what possums do to stay alive. All in all, I assure you that the story is more merry than morbid.) However, Joe wasn’t doing the best at learning this crucial survival skill. When his mom tried to simulate danger and poked his tummy like a grumpy bear, or shook him as a fox would, Joe just laughed. (How else, she told him not to, right?) Until suddenly, a real grumpy bear stomped in. Will Joe play dead well enough? Oh, yes he did. Actually even too well, considering the grumpy bear didn’t really mean to attack Joe…

To cut a long story short, Joe’s giggling, although wasn’t adding to his grades at the school of life, was a real gem. Joe’s laughing was contagious.  With his laugh, Joe was making everyone else laugh. Even the grumpy bear, who didn’t like being grumpy. Perhaps even the little bear that is sitting in your lap?



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