I learned about this wonderful book as per the recommendation of Carrie Gelson of There’s a Book for That. She is absolutely right in noting that this is a perfect companion book to Oliver Jeffers’ The Incredible Book-Eating Boy (which I reviewed here).

As I was reading this book, I thought that it would be a perfect read-aloud to young children this Halloween – who would most likely scream and screech as they are given dire warnings that this is not a well-behaved book – as it eats people! Talk about a ‘monster’ book in the literal sense of the word.

If you hear growling while you’re reading it, stop reading, close the cover, and put something heavy on top of it.

I love how this insatiable, forever-hungry book, is able to taste peanut butter (or popcorn, or nachos dipped in salsa, or chocolate chip cookies) on the fingers of children who may be flipping the pages of the book. It has vampire-like heightened sensitivities and awareness as it smells something yummy from a mile away – and is not above devouring its fellow books within the library if not properly shelved or left to its own devices in a forgotten table somewhere. I also enjoyed how crafty and stealthy it can be as could be seen in the image below (poor sweet little Victoria Glassford with the bright blue eyes and sun-kissed hair):

The illustrations are glorious – I love its scrap-book-y vibe and the collage artistic style is perfect for the sinister, fanged, ravenous feel of this continually-famished book (who by the way eats people). Whether this monstrous, bad bad book was tamed – at all, I shall leave for you to discover, dear friends.

For teachers who may want to make use of this book in their classrooms, here is a downloadable pdf link created by Stephanie McKoy of Reading Resources that you may want to check out as it includes printable question cards that can be used for discussion.

I particularly loved this video clip where the author himself John Perry insists that this book be banned immediately as it is irredeemable and a danger to others – perfect for Banned Books Week. Enjoy!

The Book that Eats People by John Perry and Illustrations by Mark Fearing. Tricycle Press, an Imprint of Ten Speed Press, 2009. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.

2012 North Carolina Children’s Book Award. AWB Reading Challenge Update: 107 (35)

Picture Book Challenge Update: 117 of 120

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

4 comments on “Be Afraid.. Be Very Afraid of this Book: The Book that Eats People

  1. Sounds fun! I don’t remember reading a lot of books when I was super young, but I must have. I mean I love to read, you’d think that would start really young.


  2. Cool! I like Mr. Fearing’s illustrations! Love the title of the book! 🙂


  3. Pingback: October Round Up! «

  4. This sounds like so much fun. I will have to look for this one the next time the little guy and I go to the library!


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