Readers might sometimes wonder where authors get the ideas for their books, especially those that seem a bit off-the-wall. Well, even without having read the back cover of Put Me in a Book, one wouldn’t need much imagination to figure out where Robert Munsch got his inspiration for this little tale. After some second-graders re-illustrated one of his previous books with their own photographs inside, he was struck by the common desire of children everywhere to see themselves written into a story. In fact, many of my adult friends have asked me to write them into my own novels, so I’m pretty sure that such ego sticks around long after puberty!
I’m a bit surprised at the uniqueness of this concept, judging by how many children over the past several hundred years have likely asked children’s book authors to “put me into your next book!” While I don’t doubt that a number of those authors have acquiesced and given cameo appearances to their friends and families and most persistent fans, very few have ever published books on the request itself. So kudos to Munsch for having killed Captain Obvious with this publication.
One thing that surprised me about the artwork in Put Me in a Book is that, judging by their photographs on the back cover, neither Munsch nor Martchenko decided to write themselves into this story about that very topic. Perhaps they didn’t want to suffer the fate of the fictitious, bespectacled “writer” in their tale, who apparently will never write a book again. Whatever the reason, it matters little. They’ve created an enjoyable book for children whose imaginations are just starting to bend reality in similar ways. This will surely continue to be a hit among that 5-8 year old age range.