ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD by Avery Monsen and Jory John

Schadenfreude describes taking happiness in the misfortune of others -- but what if that feeling was expressed as a children's book?  And what if it took on unexpected tangents?  All My Friends Are Dead is a simple, surprisingly effective comical book about different things and their missing friends.

Friendship is the key to All My Friends Are Dead -- and usually its lack, or it's variety.  Everything from the cover dinosaur to cassette tapes, ventriloquists, trees, sheep, people on a desert island, and others comment about their friends; usually there's a follow-up comment from them or their friends on the following pages.  For example, a clown comments, "All my friends are terrifying"  On the next page, another clown responds, "I've already made two children cry today!"

There's a very twisted humor at work here -- and a very elegant simplicity in the drawings, subjects, and delivery.  All My Friends Are Dead could have been much darker (especially given that title), yet it's very odd and very funny.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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