How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett, pictures by Adam Rex

Published by Disney-Hyperion 

Summary:  Reading other reviews for this book, I learned a new word—metafiction, which Merriam-Webster tells us is “fiction which refers to or takes as its subject fictional writing and its conventions.”  Fiction and nonfiction are blurred here as Barnett and Rex show how their book was made, with a few questionable additions like an arm-wrestling tiger, marauding pirates, and a pile of books visible from outer space.  The concepts of author, illustrator, editor, and publisher are all introduced in the context of producing a book from start to finish.  The final page reminds kids that a book really isn’t a book until it is read, so that you, the reader, have been an integral part in the making of this book.  48 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  If you’re looking for a straightforward account of how books are made, this may not be the best choice, but if you’re looking for an exercise in hilarious craziness, this will fit the bill.

Cons:  For the illustrator biography on the back flap, Adam Rex takes the phrase “How this illustrator was made” literally, resulting in a slightly PG-rated couple of sentences.

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