Day 3: Wednesday

My Favorite Meta Books

Written by: Snow 

Some of the best books I read with my boys were the ones that acknowledged that the reader is in on the joke, or took an old story and turned it on its head. Made excessively popular recently by Lemony Snicket in the "Series Of" books, it is a style that was non-existent when I was a young reader, which may be why it appeals to me so much. Here are a few that have stuck with me:

1. Humpty Dumpty Egg-Splodes by Kevin O'Malley: When you think about it, Humpty Dumpty really gets the short end of the stick. Famous for making bad life choices and being a klutz, in this book he goes on a rampage and Mother Goose will never be the same again.

2. The Mystery of Eatum Hall by John Kelly and Cathy Tincknell: When a pig and a goose receive an all expenses paid gourmet weekend, nothing could be amiss, right? The staid narration of their visit to the seemingly host-less hotel belies the excellent illustrations that tell another tale, one of a wiley wolf, setting traps on every page. As ever though, the wolf is thwarted, and the pig and goose escape, fatter, but none the wiser. Often when we find an awesome book, I look up all the other books an author has. In this case, this is the one and only.

3. The Web Files by Margie Palatini: The tv show Dragnet and farmyard detective work seem like a natural combination, don't they? Well, in this book it works. If you get tired of reading books about ducks and cows, this one will wake you up. Fun for parents, who will get all the detective TV show references and fun for kids, who will look at their parents quizzically, wondering why they are laughing hysterically.

4. The Three Pigs by David Wiesner:  These pigs break the fourth wall, literally. A fantastic tale accompanied by Wiesner's delightful illustrations, Reading a book like this helps give children a deeper appreciation for visual humor, word play and character development.


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