Snicket scents trouble at mill

Lemony Snicket's unusual "Series of Unfortunate Events" is becoming a compelling saga, based on the Baudelaire orphans having a truly horrible time in each book. In Book 4, The Miserable Mill (Egmont pound;5.99), they are offered protection from their arch-enemy Count Olaf in exchange for their labour at Lucky Smells Lumbermill.

But the mill looks like Olaf's ankle tattoo, and there are other hints of his presence. Snicket's growing fan base will not be disappointed, and teachers may find the digression on "stylistic consistency" (p147), a useful focus for a literacy lesson. The humour, which lies in the tone of voice, might not appeal to all. For groan-guaranteed fun, see Scoular Anderson's My First Knock Knock Joke Book (Corgi pound;3.99).

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