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Product Description:

Ages 6^-8. In this nicely produced picture book, a jester banished from court for failing to amuse sets out to rediscover laughter in the world: "Then it isn't me at all! / It's the world that must be sick. / We must find that sense of humour, / and bring it back here quick!" The book is longer than most for the age group (possibly too long), but the bouncy rhyme of the text will keep the pages turning sufficiently, as will the shining colours of the double-page-spread paintings, peopled with comic-book-like characters that have an unsophisticated charm some children will like. The narrative doesn't always scan well, and the story's undisguised message will strike some readers as cloying, but the book's heartfelt optimism is difficult to ignore, and its celebration of life and laughter is a lesson for all. Stephanie Zvirin

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