The Book That Eats People. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press.
Appetizer: This book eats people. Within its pages readers can discover the name of the first reader the book chose to eat and how the book managed to escape the library it'd been confined in. From there readers can follow the rest of the devastation this book has caused. But readers should always be cautious when turning the pages. They should make sure not to have the scent of their lunch on their finger tips. They should never turn their back on this book. Because this book eats people! Ooooooh!
This books title reminded me of The Monster Book of Monsters from the Harry Potter series. As with that series, this picturebook presents a book in a new light, as something dangerous and unstoppable.
I liked how detailed the book's illustrations were. Signs of the book's travels were all over the book's end pages--its old check-out card from the book's time in the library or its intake photos from the Big City Prison. I liked how well the peritextual details matched the content. I tip my hat at you Mark Fearing, Mr. illustrator.
I think I'm going to have to learn a valuable lesson from this ravenous book. I suppose hungry readers like Monica and I should beware! We may encounter a book that will want to devour us back. In this case though, I could take it. Nom, nom, nom. Mmmm, paper.
Bring it on books!
This is a book that eats people.
If you hear growling while you're reading it, stop reading, close the cover, and put something heavy on top of it."
"If you hear pages rustling, it's probably because the book smells something yummy."
"After this book ate Sammy Ruskin, his parents gave it to a library, where it sat trapped and mad, tightly shelved between The Complete Guide to the Saints and Sandwiches Through the Ages."
To Go with the Meal:
This a a good read to encourage students to develop a taste for enjoying books. While it could be used as a read aloud, a teacher may want to leave the book out for students to page through at their own pace to get a closer look at the illustrations and end pages.
The Book That Eats People promotes the idea that books can have a bite and dangerous dimension to them. After sharing this picture book, a teacher could share information about banned books and some of the controversies literature has caused over the centuries.
To go a creative route, after reading the book, a teacher could have students pretend to be investigative reporters and they could stage reports on the crimes the book committed. Students could interview one another as pretend witnesses to the book's crimes. If a teacher had the time, her or she could also have the students stage a pretend trial for the book, exploring issues of right and wrong, justice and the U.S. legal system.
Tasty Rating: !!!