chapter  12
Would I Lie to You?: Metalepsis and Modal Disruption in Some “True” Fairy Tales
By“True” Fairy Tales ROBYN MCCALLUM
Pages 13

Four characteristically postmodern strategies which draw attention to the fi ctional nature of a picturebook are: overt intertextuality; inversion of the narrative voice (so that the story is told from another character’s point of view); metaleptic1 disruptions to the diegetic level of narration, which breach conventional relationships and hierarchies between characters, texts, authors, illustrators, and readers; and modal2 contrasts and disruptions within the pictorial discourse. This chapter will examine the interrelationships between these four strategies in the following metafi ctive fairy tale picturebooks: What Really Happened to Little Red Riding Hood: The Wolf’s Story (Forward and Cohen), Oops! (McNaughton), Beware of the Storybook Wolves (Child), Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book? (Child), Wait! No Paint! (Whatley) and The Three Pigs (Wiesner). In combination, the broadly metafi ctive strategies used in these books raise questions about the nature of narrative and the possibilities for reshaping and changing traditional stories. Not all of the books use all four strategies, but they are all overtly intertextual, as each retells a version of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, or Cinderella-and other fairy tales and nursery rhymes to a lesser extent. Further, many of them use innovative pictorial techniques to position readers in interrogative positions, and they all at least to some extent problematise the relationships between fi ction and reality, and the world of stories and that of readers, potentially offering readers more empowered reading positions and strategies.