For me and other adult readers of children's books, The Willoughbys is a tasty little treat. For young readers, I am not sure what they will make of it. And it matters to me what they will make of it.
As I began reading this book I could not help but think of Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, all of which I read out loud to my son a few years ago. I did not enjoy the experience and felt ripped off at the end of book thirteen. I realize that there was a lot going on in the books that I failed to appreciated while I was reading them, even though I caught all of the literary references and snickered at the in jokes, even though they remain the most beautifully illustrated and packaged series of books for middle grade readers - followed closely by the Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson and