The Last Laugh

Overview

Meet a not-so-nice snake, a jittery gopher, and a duck who doesn’t know what he’s in for. But wait: The duck’s not the only one who’s about to be surprised!

This silly book is told with only three words but an abundance of visual expression and panache. It’s a hilarious take on the adage "What goes around comes around," and a refreshing, kid-friendly story of brains over brawn.

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Overview

Meet a not-so-nice snake, a jittery gopher, and a duck who doesn’t know what he’s in for. But wait: The duck’s not the only one who’s about to be surprised!

This silly book is told with only three words but an abundance of visual expression and panache. It’s a hilarious take on the adage "What goes around comes around," and a refreshing, kid-friendly story of brains over brawn.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This story dedicated "to bullies everywhere" needs for its text only the menacing "Hiss!" of the snake and his satisfied "Hee...Hee..." when he has frightened a bird, a gopher, a possum and her babies. A duck adds "Quack!" as it is swallowed. That is enough, however, to summon a swarm of ducky friends, while the first duck escapes. As the snake is busy watching all the ducks fly away he is suddenly startled by a loud "Quack!" from the bird, who now has his turn to say "Hee...Hee..." The laughs overflow onto the back endpapers (as the "Hiss" did on the front) as the duck delights in finding that turnabout is fair play. Pen-and-ink with gouache create the characters who act out their roles of bully and bullied in framed sequences of comic exaggeration. When the ducks gather the frames become whole pages filled with them and their quacking, gradually diminishing in size as they fly off in formation, leaving the solitary fowl to fill his page with his quack. Satisfying visual fun. 2006, Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin, Ages 3 to 6.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In this nearly wordless fable, a snake sneaks up on various animals, hisses at them, and slithers away with a chuckle. When it tries this prank on a duck overhead, the bird flies down into the snake's belly. Now the snake can only quack, and the other reptiles laugh in response. Soon the bully is overwhelmed by quacking ducks attracted by its noises. The duck emerges and flies off with the others. The snake looks relieved that they appear to have gone, but the first one sneaks up on it and belts out a loud "QUACK!" The creature is visibly rattled, while the duck flies off with the last laugh. The only words in this book, except for various animal sounds, appear on the last page: "This book is dedicated to bullies everywhere." In comic-strip panels, Aruego and Dewey's signature pen-and-ink and gouache art is droll and accessible. This lighthearted tale could lead to some interesting discussions of the bird's motivations as well as the subject of bullying. Young readers will find the format and the karmic justice of this story appealing.-Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A sly snake with a fondness for sneaking up on unsuspecting animals and making them jump earns both humiliation and a taste of its own medicine in this nearly wordless outing-dedicated "to bullies everywhere." Having frazzled a passing bird, a ground squirrel and a family of opossums, Snake inadvertently swallows a duck and, suddenly only able to quack rather than hiss, not only draws ridicule from other snakes, but attracts a huge flock of other ducks. Ultimately, the first duck climbs out, and Snake happily watches the flock depart-unaware of one remaining bird who is drawing breath to emit a huge "QUACK." Drawn with the bright orange snake and variously colored other animals suspended in small, blank cartoon panels, this is too purposeful to make much impression on dedicated bullies-but it's just silly enough that it may give their victims some vicarious satisfaction and a great belly laugh. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803730939
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/16/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Ariane Deweylives in New York City
Jose Aruego lives in New York City.

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