Friday, April 27, 2012

Blurring Boundaries

Metafiction is the technical term; blurring boundaries is a bit simpler to explain. Go back a few years and Eliza Dresang calls the same thing RADICAL CHANGE. Whatever attempt we make to label it does not matter one whit. There are new books that simply are pushing envelopes and breaking rules. That makes for some interesting reading as is the case for the following book.

CHLOE AND THE LION by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex (Disney Hyperion 2012) blurs all sorts of lines, most notably the fourth wall that separates the book world from the "real" world of the reader. Mac and Adam introduce themselves as author and illustrator of the story. Next, we meet Chloe, our heroine. Along comes a lion, and this is where the story begins to turn in on itself. Rex draws a dragon and makes the case that the dragon is a better choice for the story. Well, from there, author and illustrator (and eventually lion and Chloe and a replacement illustrator) argue, taking the story right off its tracks. Imaginative, humorous, challenging: these words are all too simple for this complex book. <215>


  1. Interesting! I love the concept and will look for this book to read. The author and illustrator as characters sound fun!

  2. This would be a great book to share with kids. Students could join the argument, making a case for who they “side” with and where they think the story should go. Sounds fun!

  3. I like the idea of a commentary by the creators of the book. It would help kids to analyze their own works as authors.