Sunday, August 21, 2016

Spoiler Alert! Let Me Finish! by Minh LE

Ah! Nothing like a quiet spot and a good book!"

Except... it's not. Just as our bespectacled young reader settles down under a tree to get into his book, his attention is interrupted by a small flock of self-styled feathered book critics:
"OOH! I loved that book!" gushes a bird from the tree.

"Me, too!" says a blackbird. "Can you believe his best friend turns out to be a robot? "And..". adds a red bird, "her hat was actually a time machine?"

The little reader protests that he's just trying to read the first page, flees further into the forest, and spots a solitary cave. Ah, peace at last.

But a bear ambles in, and taking note of the book, asks if he's gotten to the page where the little dog runs off. But not to worry....

"Grandma to the rescue!" he volunteers.


But no matter where he tries to settle down, our young reader runs into some critter who's already read the book and just has to tell him all about the best part!

If this kid is ever going to get into this book, desperate measures are called for--a metabook move! He's literally got to get inside the book, and  with a literary leap of faith, he does, right through the page.

Authors these days can't seem to resist throwing in a touch of old metafiction trick, and Minh Le's Let Me Finish! (Hyperion Books, 2016) is no exception, although with a wink and a nudge, the author can't resist letting the characters inside the book be the spoilers for a change. Savvy young readers who are up on their Herve' Tullet (see reviews here) will be hep to what's going on, and artist Isabel Rexas gets into the act with her goofy cartoon-style animal characters in fanciful colors that move the story, left to right, deftly across the pages to ... you guessed it!... THE END.

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