This book is #2 in A Series of Unfortunate Events. It's really quite cute, even though absolutely miserable for the children. You sort of wonder why a publisher would publish this for kids when the kids are always in such miserable circumstances!
I swear this book is a person with obsessive compulsive disorder's dream. Everything is always neatly done with 3 - one for each of the children. All 'big' words are always explained. If nothing else, this book does try to teach kids that if they use their imagination and read (and bit hard objects, I suppose), they can do almost anything.
The story itself is more enjoyable than the first book just because I found it uncomfortable that Count Olaf wanted to marry Violet. This time around, they are put in the custody of a distant relative who studies snakes for a living. Everything around them is snake or reptile oriented. Sunny makes friends with "The Incredibly Deadly Viper", which is a 'misnomer', as Snicket teaches us! A great book for kids, although it is a little depressing.