You have to love a children's story that begins like this:
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. This is because not very many happy things happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children, and they were charming and resourceful, and had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery, and despair. I'm sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.
I read the first chapter to Boy Wonder as he lay in the bathtub, and we giggled through the whole thing. Soberly intoned, with meaningful looks between sentences, it is completely hilarious--black comedy for kids.
I love authors of children's books who can amuse both children AND the adult reading the book aloud.