BOOK REVIEW: The Incredible Book-Eating Boy, by Oliver Jeffers

Released: April 19, 2007 (Philomel)
Source: Library
Buy Now From: Amazon

Like many children, Henry loves books. But Henry doesn’t like to read books, he likes to eat them. Big books, picture books, reference books . . . if it has pages, Henry chews them up and swallows (but red ones are his favorite). And the more he eats, the smarter he gets—he’s on his way to being the smartest boy in the world! But one day he feels sick to his stomach. And the information is so jumbled up inside, he can’t digest it!

Can Henry find a way to enjoy books without using his teeth? With a stunning new artistic style and a die-cut surprise, Oliver Jeffers celebrates the joys of reading in this charming and quirky picture book. It’s almost good enough to eat.

My Thoughts 

This was a great book. Yes, it was a small children’s book, a picture book, if you will, but it was just wonderful to read. The story, by Oliver Jeffers, is about a boy who starts to eat books. First he starts with just a word, then moves on to sentences, and, ultimately, entire books. The books make him smarter, but they give him a bad tummy ache.

The wonderful thing about this book is the illustrations. Most of the pages are structured to look like various pages in a book–that’s not to say the obvious, it is a book: I know that. For example, the first page reads like the side-angle of a finance book, or other pages have text lightly in the background of another book. There is even lined paper and graph paper on various pages–each page being quite unique.

Of course, even the illustrations of the boy with his books are quite nice–I especially enjoyed a picture of the boy at the dinner table, taking a slice out of his book for a mouthful. Jeffers’s use of space is wonderful. I liked how he didn’t clutter up the pages with too much going on, but instead gave the reader just enough.

Another great thing about the book is how the author gives us all reasons to read books through the boy eating the books: they make us smarter, can help us do crossword puzzles better, but sometimes we read books so fast that our brains get jumbled up and we can’t remember what we’ve read.

I liken myself to that–sometimes I read book after book after book without a break and get fuzzy. I totally understood what he was going through.

The Incredible Book-Eating Boy is a great story to let everyone know the benefits of reading–and that sometimes, an accident (like accidentally eating your book instead of your popsicle) can lead you to do something you never thought possible.

© 2011-2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


One thought on “BOOK REVIEW: The Incredible Book-Eating Boy, by Oliver Jeffers

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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