*I received product(s) mentioned in this post for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.*
Last Laughs Prehistoric Epitaphs is a fall release title published by Charlesbridge Publishing. They publish many different children’s books for all ages from baby and toddler all the way through to young adult titles. Recently my family and I received an opportunity to read and review Last Laughs Prehistoric Epitaphs. It is geared for children 7 to 10 years.
Last Laughs Prehistoric Epitaphs is written by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen. It is illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins. This book isn’t a story really. It’s actually filled with facts of prehistoric animals along with many epitaphs of short poems for each one.
“Sure, scientists think that a meteor or climate change probably killed a lot of prehistoric animals, but some of them must have died before that, right? Paleontologist Professor Piltdown becomes a guide as inimitable poets Jane Yolen and J. Patrick Lewis imagine how Terror Bird, T. Rex, and other creatures might’ve kicked the bucket.”
The above in quotes is from the jacket cover of the book. With that, you kind of get the idea that these poems tell the possible demise that some of these animals may have encountered before they were extinct. These poems are based on facts. How these animals behaved, how they lived, where they lived, etc. Below each poem, you will find a short paragraph of facts about that particular prehistoric animal.
Along the edges of each page, it shows in text the era and time period for each prehistoric animal. So not only are there facts about each animal, you also learn what era and time period they came from. So to start, it begins with the Paleozoic Era – Cambrian Period-Permian Period. And in that era and those time periods we have Trilobites. Then we have the Mesozoic Era which includes 5 periods including the Jurassic Period. Then we have the Cenozoic Era that includes 3 periods ending with the Quaternary Period with the Saber Toothed Cat and Woolly Mammoth.
The pages are full illustrations and they are done beautifully well. I love the layout of the pages with the era’s and time periods. But I have to be a bit honest here. To me, some of the illustrations may seem a bit morbid to others along with some of the poems. At least for a child at the age of 7. Don’t get me wrong, I personally like the book and so do both of my boys. I don’t have a problem with them reading this book. My youngest is 8 and my older son is 11. They enjoy it and I am okay with that. I just thought I would mention something since the age recommendations are 7-10 years old.
When talking about the poems, I want to give you an example. The example below I am going to give you is the epitaph of the Trilobites. Underneath the poem are some of the facts. The following text is from the book:
“Trilobites the Dust“
“Slowly the floated
down to the seabed.
But later on oceans
dried up – as they must
and so trilobites all
at last bit the dust.”
“Trilobites were marine arthropods and a distant relative of the modern lobsters, horseshoe crabs, and spiders. Their fossils are found on every continent.”
So as you can see, these epitaphs are educational. The poems are just as educational as the facts underneath them. Some of the poems are bit more morbid than the one above while others are even less morbid. Some of them I found to be kind of funny. My boys thought quite a few of them were funny. Of course they are also gross and like things like zombies. I like zombies too I guess since there’s a certain show I watch on Sundays.
Overall, we really liked this book. I thought it was educational and fact finding. I also thought it was funny here and there and so did my boys. I thought it was age appropriate for my boys but if you are a parent on the fence, I suggest taking a look at it for yourself if you think it’s not quite appropriate for your child.
Other than that, I give it two thumbs up!
Buy It: You can buy this book and others by checking out Charlesbridge Publishing. Listing price for Last Laughs Prehistoric Epitaphs Hardcover is $16.99. You can buy it on their website or online at Amazon. You may also be able to find it in bookstores.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. However, I received free product mentioned in this post from Charlesbridge Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed in my review are 100% my own.