The Australian author of the witty At the CafÃ‰ Splendid (1988) turns in a less-than-original story about a boy who has lost his laugh. Eddie, previously a happy child, suddenly finds that he cannot manage the smallest smile, let alone a laugh. When this affliction persists, his parents enroll him in the School for Laughter, a cheerful place whose inhabitants try--and fail--to make Eddie laugh. As the school year ends, Eddie worries that his classmates will be made unhappy by his longstanding sobriety and unpacks some jokes of his own. Unwittingly, he cures himself. Denton's tone just misses deadpan, and lapses, more than once, into condescension. His water. color illustrations, filled with both broad and subtle humor, show the madhouse classrooms and sprinting children of the School, in marked contrast to a text that is sadly flat.