Review of The Book That Eats People, by John Perry

The Book That Eats People

by John Perry
illustrations by Mark Fearing

Tricycle Press, 2009. 36 pages.

This book is hilarious. I don’t think I can use it for storytime, because the body count is quite high, and I don’t want to scare very young children. For school-age children old enough to be pretty sure it’s all a joke (Though they may be careful just the same.), this book is perfect.

It all started one day in Little Rock, Arkansas, when Sammy Ruskin forgot to wash his hands after lunch, and the book tasted peanut butter on his fingers.

“So the book — this book — went SNAP! And took a bite! And then another and another. Sammy squirmed and wriggled. Sammy squealed and yelled. Sammy pulled as hard as he could, but the book ate him. Then it coughed up his bones and they clattered across the floor like wooden blocks.”

Sammy was only the first person the book ate. Then its pages tell of further nefarious adventures. It ate a security guard at the library. It ate innocent children. When they tried putting it in jail, it ate its cellmate.

Eventually, when the zookeepers weren’t able to tame it, they put a label on it that says THE BOOK THAT EATS PEOPLE in big, bold letters.

So if you find a book that looks like that, be careful.

Never read it with syrupy fingers.

Never read it with cookies in your pocket.

Remember, it’s always hungry.

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