Once Upon A Tomb by J. Patrick Lewis
Gravely Humorous Verses

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Clever puns and elaborately detailed, surreal artwork illuminate a collection of comically grim verses that can't help but tickle the funny bone.

Reader, if I had more time
I'd say au revoir in rhyme,
Sayonara, ciao in verse —
But I have to catch a hearse.

Peek inside ONCE UPON A TOMB and find twenty-two poems, each of
which tells, in hilarious verse, the story of an untimely demise — from a school principal to a bully, a food critic to a cafeteria lady, an underwear
salesman to a soccer player. Complemented by Simon Bartram's deadpan illustrations, J. Patrick Lewis's cryptic tour of headstones and epitaphs is silly, spooky — and far from grave.

About J. Patrick Lewis

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J. PATRICK LEWIS has written many books for children, including THE LAST RESORT, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti, which was a NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year, and ARITHME-TICKLE: AN EVEN NUMBER OF ODD RIDDLE-RHYMES, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz. Of ONCE UPON A TOMB, he says, "The dead can be very funny. Some of their best one-liners are written in stone."SIMON BARTRAM's humorous acrylic paintings have appeared in several books for children, including MAN ON THE MOON (A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BOB), and numerous magazines. He painted the pictures for ONCE UPON A TOMB over many months on an easel in a small studio in the north of England. He loves to paint but also enjoys writing and creating his own stories and poems.
Published July 11, 2006 by Candlewick. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Once Upon A Tomb

Kirkus Reviews

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Lewis is “dead-on” with this collection of “gravely humorous verses.” From school principal to bully, food critic to school cafeteria lady, underwear salesman to soccer player, these “crypt-ic” rhyming quips about the untimely demise of 22 people are wittily morbid and irreverent.

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Publishers Weekly

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"Underwear Salesman" achieves utter synchronicity between text ("Our grief/ Was brief") and art, as the bereaved family, sporting slips, black ties and briefs, surround a framed head shot of the smiling dearly departed.

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Booked Solid

“This rare look at the lighter side of death should elicit plenty of surprised giggles from young audiences.” (Booklist/August 2006) “A great selection for a Halloween read-aloud or reluctant poetry readers.” (School Library Journal/August 2006) This entry was posted in art,...

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