New children's books ...

Anita Graham amgraham at cygnus.uwa.edu.au
Sat Oct 21 07:20:39 EDT 2000


At 02:03  21-10-00 +1000, Amaya Booker wrote:

>There's a small series (currently in 5 books) called "A Series of
>Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket... these have to be *the* most
>beautifully printed books I have seen in a long time... and they're cute
>stories too. They're the stories of the lives of the unluckiest children
>alive the Beaudelaires, and tell their tales of woe.
>
>I highly recommend them, and for anyone fond of typesetting and beautiful
>layout you will love these (this is why I originally picked up the first
>book) as they're printed all in hardback in but in paper back format, have
>delightful illustrations and beautiful inside covers (with printed on
>bookplates to match the covers!)

Did you notice the bookplates feature each different incarnation of the 
villain? My son pointed that out to me.


And children like them too! Or at least, my son David, who is 10, likes 
them. I've just bought book 3 at his request (we already have 1 and 2). I 
enjoyed book 1  and David is forcing book 2 on me (have you read it yet? 
have you read it yet?). They are written in a very distinctive style where 
each unusual word is explained as are the situations in the book. I think 
I've just got past the explanation for dramatic irony. And all the 
unfortunate events are foreshadowed heavily and deliberately.

 From the back cover of the nearest to hand (Book 1, The Bad Beginning)

"Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely 
unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. 
Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead 
lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book 
when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on 
through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they 
are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngster encounter a greedy and 
repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their 
fortune and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is 
nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading 
something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket."


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