February 3, 2017
Snappsy was not having the best day ever. He felt out of sorts, saggy, baggy and not himself. Snappsy knew what was wrong. He needed something to eat. Why was the annoying narrator trying to make the problem out to be something else?
Snappsy is doing his best to make it to the grocery store but the whole time the narrator is making it sound like he’s on the prowl for an innocent creature to gobble up. At last he makes it home with his groceries, but before the narrator can get started, he hangs on sign on his door.
“No Narrators Allowed!”
Is the alligator making wicked plans? No, he’s preparing to host a party for his friends. The poor narrator is left outside looking in until…
seriously? You can’t expect me to give away the ending.
Falatka has created a story that plays with picture book “reality.” The narrator is acknowledged and put on the spot by the main character just as the book itself is drawn into the story. Both are done to humorous effect.
But Falatka isn’t the only one with a sense of humor. Miller’s cartoonish illustrations simply expand on the fun. Even as the narrator (pesky chicken) described Snappsy on the prowl, it is impossible to consider him a serious threat. He just looks too fun and silly. Miller created his pictures using not only brush and ink but also the computer.
In today’s world where people are becoming increasingly aware of biased, one-sided reporting, the narrator is a great touch. She skews the story without apology, making things up that suit her fancy. It’s no wonder that Snappsy doesn’t want to be in the book.
Unreliable narrators may not be common place in picture books but this one makes it work. Share it with your young readers today and launch a discussion on fact vs fiction, truth vs fancy.