UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

“I’ll tell you what : I’ll just steer”: an examination of metafictive narrative strategies in a selection of picturebooks by Mo Willems Schembri, Natalie


This thesis explores the use of metafictive literary devices in a selection of picturebooks by author-illustrator Mo Willems as “radical” (Dresang 19), a “construction” (Nikolajeva and Scott 220; Sipe 107), a “puzzle” (Nodelman and Reimer 298), and as “processes of storytelling” (Lewis 92) in which the readers are invited to become essential “creators, interpreters and innovators” (Reynolds 35), and “co-authors” (Barthes 1457) of illustration, text, and meaning. Analyses of the picturebook Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, the early reader We Are in A Book!, and the picturebook That Is Not a Good Idea! examine and explore how reading is a process of building and constructing meaning that becomes an active process through metafictive narrative strategies.

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