i love rudyard kipling. i think he must have been a major influence on writer's like lemony snicket because all the way back in the late 1800s when kipling was writing these stories he was employing some of the devices that authors like snicket enjoy so much. i'm speaking of those little asides to the reader, where it feels like the author is letting you in on a little secret, or making a personal joke with you. and he uses big words, but in a rather tongue-in-cheek sort of way.
i have always enjoyed the story of the elephant's child, which explains how the elephant got his trunk. after reading all of the just so stories, i have to say that the elephant's child remains my favourite. there's something about the elephant with his 'satiable curiosity and the bi-coloured-python-rock-snake that is extremely endearing.