Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The End (Almost) by Jim Benton

The End (Almost) by Jim Benton. unpgd. Scholastic Inc., February, 2014. 9780545177313.

Jim Benton jumps onto the metafiction bandwagon with this bit of fluffy fun. A blobby, blue bear named Donut burps. The end. But wait, Donut isn't ready to have his story end. He argues, cajoles, departs, sneaks back. All to no avail as the narrator is firm. There is no more story. Finally, Donut is invited to read the story again.

The graphic above does not do the book justice as the yellow screams, look at me! The Donut-blue endpages feature multiple Donuts in a variety of disguises. I have no clue why the title page features a talking ice cream cone who makes one more appearance on the last page. Donut is appealing in a role that is derivative of Pigeon. But one can't help feeling that this has been done before. If this is a child's first foray into metafiction, the reader might hear, "Again." If the reader puts on the ham, fun will be had. If either have had any experience with Pigeon, the response might be lukewarm.

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