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Book Review: See You in the Funny Papers: A Bit of Good News! by Pam Kumpe

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Pam Kumpe is a woman who bubbles over with the joy of the Lord. It comes through in her sparkling, effervescent prose, her light-hearted and carefree attitude to life and her ability to turn even the most embarrassing moments into spiritual lessons. As the writer of an inspirational newspaper column in East Texas, podcaster, and public speaker, Kumpe’s enthusiastic fans asked her to print a collection of her special style of inspirational entertainment, and See You in the Funny Papers was born.

Drawing upon her column material and adding unique content, Kumpe has drawn together a collection of short 74 short humorous vignettes drawn from her own life. Not shy of poking fun at her own shortcomings, foibles, and insecurities, Kumpe playfully fills each two to three page chapter with lessons the Lord has taught her through her day-to-day life. Some are also accompanied by topically related grayscale Christian cartoons, which provide a splash of additional jollity wherever they appear.

Quite a few of these stories are thigh-slappers. They’re the sort of tales you pull out at family dinners to get everyone smiling and talking. Some are so memorable I doubt that I’ll ever forget them – such as a memorable  encounter with a flaming baton gone dreadfully wrong. Hers is not what you’d call a deep devotional book. Kumpe, in fact, terms her little tales God-light – she aims instead to encourage believers and remind them of God’s goodness through her sense of humor.

Despite this open, friendly writing-style, younger readers may find some of her anecdotes a bit distant from their personal experiences and therefore somewhat more difficult to relate to. I’m not sure if it’s the age-difference, or if it’s cultural disparity (yes, Texas and Alberta both have oil and beef in common), but I found myself thinking that a more mature reader might be able to glean additional layers of understanding if their own personal experiences more closely mirrored Kumpe’s than my own do. My own Grandma comes to mind – I can imagine her laughing as she reads it even now.

While reading See You in the Funny Papers, I was struck by how open and personable Kumpe is. After completing her book, I’d be surprised if anyone can fail to see her as what she aims to be – a “Pray & Play” friend. Flipping through the pages of her book is like receiving a fabulous email from a good friend – full of family foibles, God’s goodness, and a happy heart.

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