________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 6. . . .November 7, 2008


Ha! Ha! Ha! and Much More: The Ultimate Round-Up of Jokes, Riddles, Facts, & Puzzles.

Lyn Thomas. Illustrated by Dianne Eastman.
Toronto, ON: Maple Tree Press, 2008.
256 pp., pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.), $24.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-897349-23-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-897349-22-9 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Riddles, Juvenile.
Wit and humor, Juvenile.
Puzzles-Juvenile literature.
Amusements-Juvenile literature.
Curiosities and wonders-Juvenile literature.

Grade 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



Duncan decides to take a bath and starts filling his tub. When the water reaches the top he tries to turn off the tap but it falls off. The bathroom's windows don't open and the door closes with an airtight seal. The room begins to fill up with water. Duncan can't get the door open. How does he save himself?


From the "excerpt," it sounds like Duncan is in trouble. Curious how he got out of it? Turn the book upside down and read the answer provided. Want to try reciting a few hard tongue twisters? There is a tricky one about fresh fried fish. Jokes, including those of the knock-knock variety, can be found almost everywhere in this book as well as puzzles containing optical illusions and word games, and quizzes that will test your knowledge in science, pop culture and inventions. However, these jokes, tongue twisters and quizzes provide only some of the Ha! Ha! Ha! packed into this book by Lyn Thomas. Readers will also find a huge A to Z collection of trivia; facts about elephants, cats, zorillas and rabbits are listed in the Animal Planet chapter; and entries on early refrigerators, Easter Island and haunted houses are listed in the House and Home chapter. To end the book, Lyn Thomas includes all things weird and wonderful. Here, young readers can learn the origin of the expression "saved by the bell," read about mummies, and choose from among five pages of monster themed jokes. The trivia included in Ha! Ha! Ha! and Much More is meant to astound and amuse- and it does just that- whether you're reading about animals, the human body, or the weather.

     Ha! Ha! Ha! and Much More contains material that originally appeared in Thomas's books Ha! Ha! Ha! and What? What? What?. For her newest book, Thomas's collected facts and trivia are presented on pages with attention grabbing art. Dianne Eastman's creative black and white illustrations appear with many 19th and 20th century engraving and illustrations by anonymous artists. Young readers will see a light bulb talking about the amazing brain, and a group of sun worshipping cats telling each other feline themed jokes. The 13 mammal question and answers in the first chapter are each illustrated with a small cartoon, and a violin and a bag of money have been turned into "people" in the Everyday People chapter.

      Teeming with fun information to learn, this substantial book will entertain readers for hours- and with an alphabetical index at the end of the book, and a table of contents at the beginning of the book, young readers will be able to find their favourite jokes and trivia again and again.

      Lyn Thomas, who now lives in British Columbia, was born in England, and she enjoys painting, cooking and nature photography. The research for her books comes from online sources, library materials, and from her files of collected information.

      Dianne Eastman has won a Silver Birch Award in book design and illustration and many awards in advertising, including a Gold Clio. Her illustrations appear in Ha! Ha! Ha!, What? What? What? and Wow Canada! Presently working as an illustrator and book designer, Eastman lives and works in Ontario with her husband, writer Harold Eastman.

      Lyn Thomas and Dianne Eastman have created a book that will provide readers with much more than a Ha! Ha! Ha! The book opens up the world of science, comedy, language and history in a way that is both easy to learn and not daunting to read.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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