metafiction in picture books

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metafiction in picture books

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Editado: Out 5, 2016, 12:38pm

From Wikipedia:

"Metafiction is a literary device used self-consciously and systematically to draw attention to a work's status as an artifact. It poses questions about the relationship between fiction and reality, usually using irony and self-reflection. It can be compared to presentational theatre, which does not let the audience forget it is viewing a play; metafiction forces readers to be aware that they are reading a fictional work."

The most obvious use of metafiction in picture books is when the author allows the pages themselves to be manipulated by the characters.

Monique Felix does this appealingly in her books where a mouse is trapped inside the book and manipulates it to escape. One example is The Boat.

Out 5, 2016, 12:55pm

Beyond that technique is when the characters leave the confines of the story, as they do in David Wiesner's The Three Pigs.

Here's the book read on YouTube:

Out 5, 2016, 1:05pm

Way back a century or so, Peter S. Newell played with the concept.

While fooling with a gun, Tom Potts shoots a bullet that seems to be unstoppable, in The Hole Book.

Newell's son-in-law, Alfred Z. Baker copies the technique in The Torn Book.

Out 5, 2016, 5:33pm

My favourite is An Undone Fairy Tale by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Whitney Martin. It starts out as a standard princess-in-peril story, but it quickly transpires that the reader is going too fast, and the illustrator can't keep up. While the narrator begs the reader to slow down, Ned, the illustrator, quickly substitutes items that he has on hand for those he was going to draw. So we soon have an army of knights in tutus riding on fish to battle the dragon. From there, it just keeps getting more chaotic. I've read it to groups of students from grade one to grade four, and they all loved it.

Editado: Out 6, 2016, 7:05am

Ooh, thanks for that Sylvia. It led me to this forgotten list:

I think I'm going to collect some of these books and make a Christmas package for the grands.