This is a modern classic. A must read for all ages, for the book-lover OR the reticent reader. By what criteria you ask? Well both types of readers can connect with the content. Boy loves books so much he literally eats them. Or, Boy finds the illustrations wacky and alluring and the content just plain fun.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers is a visual feast. Jeffers captures Henry, – the protagonist’s, – obession with obtaining his smarts through his tummy by using mixed media; his hand-drawn illustrations combined with the torn pages of real book pages and covers, and library cards breathe life into the muted colours of this fabulous read. The cover has an actual bite taken out of the back. That alone is worth the CA$10!
Kids seem to love that Henry’s capacity to think and reason decreases with each book that he ingests. What is a boy to do when his only obsession leads to his, uh ,stupidity? Well, you’ll have to pick the book up to find out!
How can you use the book with your kids?
- This book lends itself to creating a mixed media collage along the same lines as the book. Old newspaper pages and thrift store books combined with your own children’s illustrations can lead to a short book written by your kids or to some pretty stunning art work. You can even use Jeffers art as a springboard to making cards for gift giving.
- You can read up until Henry needs to decide how to deal with his eating problem and have your child come up with possible solutions. Then return to the book and find out out Jeffers decides to end the narrative.
- This book is especially great for young readers and for determining what the elements of narrative are: For example, the problem and the solution are clearly noticeable for children.
- Encourage your child to ask question as you read, the text provides many opportunities for that
- Kids who are so inclined can try to find out, through some detective work, how books or paper are made, from start to finish
And as always, you and your kids can just enjoy eating, err, I mean reading it!