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Children's Fiction Beginner

Toby Laughs Last

by (author) Jean Lemieux

illustrated by Sophie Casson

translated by Sarah Cummins

Formac Publishing Company Limited
Initial publish date
Nov 2006
Beginner, Emotions & Feelings
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2006
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2006
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2011
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 2 to 5
  • Reading age: 6 to 9


When Toby climbs too high in a tree to rescue a kite, he tumbles to the ground and has to go to hospital. The doctors stick tubes down his throat and bandage him up - with the result that Toby finds he can't laugh any more.

About the authors

When Jean Lemieux finished his first novel, a chance encounter at a Salon du livre led to the publication of another -- this time, a book for young adults. He met an editor with Québec/Amérique Jeunesse who persuaded him to write a short story for a young adult anthology she was preparing. Instead of the one story required, he submitted three. The first story, "Retour à Saint-Malo" was included in the anthology, Ici. The second story was destined to become Lemieux's successful young adult novel, La Cousine des États. The third is to be expanded into a book for adults. Whether writing for adolescents or adults, Lemieux demonstrates an abiding interest in human relationships. He is fascinated by the energy and enthusiasm of youth and is intrigued by the similarities he sees between an adolescent's search for self-awareness and the broader, historical issues implicit when tracing a family's roots or searching for cultural identity. Jean Lemieux is not only an author but also a doctor. Although he and his family live in Quebec City, they still have a strong attachment to the Iles-de-la-Madeleine where they lived for many years.

Jean Lemieux's profile page

Sophie Casson has illustrated a number of children’s books, including The Artist and Me by Shane Peacock, a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and Quelle pagaille! by Danielle Marcotte and Laurence-Aurélie Théroux-Marcotte, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her highly acclaimed illustrations are inspired by Japanese woodblock prints and World War II–era posters. Sophie’s award-winning work has also appeared in many international publications, including the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times and Nature, as well as in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Sophie lives in Montreal.

Sophie Casson's profile page

Sarah Cummins' profile page


  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

"Jean Lemieux ... and Sophie Casson ... have created a book that can comfort and entertain ... Toby Laughs Last is an important story about how serious accidents can be. Recommended.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Librarian Reviews

Toby Laughs Last (First Novels)

When Toby climbs too high in a tree to rescue a kite, he has an accident that lands him in the hospital. After the doctors bandage him up, Toby finds he can’t laugh any more. Includes illustrations.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Jean Lemieux

Other titles by Sophie Casson

Other titles by Sarah Cummins