Don't Laugh, Joe!

Don't Laugh, Joe!

by Keiko Kasza
     
 

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It's time for Joe to learn how to play dead. But no matter what Mother Possum does, Joe can't help laughing. She pretends to be a hungry fox. She growls like a coyote. She shakes him like a wildcat. But Joe just laughs and laughs. Until a grumpy old bear comes along and teaches Joe a lesson he'll never forget.  See more details below

Overview

It's time for Joe to learn how to play dead. But no matter what Mother Possum does, Joe can't help laughing. She pretends to be a hungry fox. She growls like a coyote. She shakes him like a wildcat. But Joe just laughs and laughs. Until a grumpy old bear comes along and teaches Joe a lesson he'll never forget.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Kasza's (The Wolf's Chicken Stew) good-hearted humor, played out by a cast of affable animals, adds irresistible charm to a light plot. Characteristically buoyant, her art delivers close-range views of the whimsical facial expressions of the giddy title character, his concerned mother and other domesticated woodland buddies. Mother Possum, who's trying to teach Joe the critical tactic of playing dead, is understandably worried that her offspring can't control his giggling. "Dead possums don't laugh!" she chastises her carefree student. But after the appearance of a grumpy old bear gives Joe a chance to prove his survival skills, the young possum also learns the value of what he does best: laughing. And Joe's giggles, conveyed so mirthfully in Kasza's pictures, are pretty contagious.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kasza's (The Wolf's Chicken Stew) good-hearted humor, played out by a cast of affable animals, adds irresistible charm to a light plot. Characteristically buoyant, her art delivers close-range views of the whimsical facial expressions of the giddy title character, his concerned mother and other domesticated woodland buddies. Mother Possum, who's trying to teach Joe the critical tactic of playing dead, is understandably worried that her offspring can't control his giggling. "Dead possums don't laugh!" she chastises her carefree student. But after the appearance of a grumpy old bear gives Joe a chance to prove his survival skills, the young possum also learns the value of what he does best: laughing. And Joe's giggles, conveyed so mirthfully in Kasza's pictures, are pretty contagious. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Don't Laugh, Joe, says his Mother. Author/illustrator Kasza shows us a possum who can't stop laughing long enough to learn the basic possum skill of playing dead. How will Joe react when a big grumpy bear comes out of the forest? Will he get the giggles again? There are not many questions here, but the final surprise will bring human giggles, too.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Joe the possum's irrepressible giggle gets in the way when his mother tries to teach him a life skill: playing possum. Time after time he fails, until his mother asks him, sighing, "What will you do when real danger comes?" When grumpy Mr. Bear comes from the woods, Joe comes through, only to find that Bear has come to him for help. At last, the two exchange favors: Joe learns to play dead and Mr. Bear learns to laugh. The possums live in a typical human household, and Joe's friends are warm and supportive animals. The setting is so cozy that when Mr. Bear appears, he's just not that scary. Charming watercolor-and-ink art, effective use of white space, and varied page design make this slim story a satisfying visual experience. Despite all the giggles though, Joe's laugh is just not that convincing.Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Kasza (The Rat and the Tiger, 1993, etc.) serves up another humorous anthropomorphic tale told in a predictable pattern just right for reading aloud to preschoolers. Playing dead has never been harder than when Mother Possum tries to teach Joe "the most important lesson a possum can learn," and he can't stop laughing. In the safety of their own home, Mother Possum sniffs him like a hungry fox, pokes him like a nasty coyote, and shakes him like a wildcat. All Joe can do is laugh. On the day his skill is tested in the wild, tension mounts, arriving in the form of a grumpy old bear who rushes from the woods growling at Joe. Joe plays dead perfectly, but a twist reveals that the bear was not unfriendly after all. The watercolors alone will have children giggling, and there is no better audience with an understanding of the difficulties of sitting still.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399230363
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.26(h) x 0.39(d)
Lexile:
560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Keiko Kasza was born on a small Japanese island in the Inland Sea of Japan where she lived with her parents, two brothers, and grandparents. Her uncles, aunts, and cousins also lived nearby.  She graduated with a degree in graphic design from California State University at Northridge. She then married an American, making the United States her home ever since. After publishing five children's books in Japan and working as a graphic designer for fourteen years, Ms. Kasza decided in 1988 to devote her time to picture books. She lives in Indiana with her husband and two sons.

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