[Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug][/Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug]At this point I think we can fairly say that EV devours books.
As a kid who only knows the TV as something she gets to enjoy once a week, her version of on-demand entertainment is demanding E or I to sit on the couch with her for two hours or more each day reading books. We have to have several dozen books in the rotation at any given time lest she latch on to one too strongly and drive us completely out of our minds.
EV loves reading so much that she now appreciates reading books about reading. Two of her favorites of late are The Incredible Book Eating Boy (yes, really, no hyphen) and A Child of Books, both by Oliver Jeffers.
One is a favorite snack, while the other is just empty calories.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy & A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers
Read Time: 5-8 minutes
Gender Diversity: Male protagonist, all speaking characters male, female background characters
Ethnic Diversity: all white
Challenging Vocab (to read or to define): atlases, monumental, ejecting, digest, embarrassing
Themes To Discuss: importance of reading, moderation, overeating, intellect, working hard vs. easy solutions, libraries (& library fines)
Read Time: <5 minutes
Gender Diversity: Female protagonist leading a male protagonist
Ethnic Diversity: colorless (and could reasonably be non-white based on features)
Challenging Vocab (to read or to define): imagination, make-believe, invention
Themes To Discuss: power of imagination
Oliver Jeffers cares about the power of stories. Not just their ability to occupy and transport us, but their ability to sustain us and help us weave the reality with which we surround ourselves. In his books, words and even letters have magical, tangible powers.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy is a literal take on how books can nurture us. In it, young Henry (who bears a passing resemblance to Doug of NickToons fame) is reading a book while licking a popsicle and gets his hands crossed, leading him to munch on a tome. It’s not half-bad, and he discovers that in addition to filling his stomach with sustenance they also instantly fill his brain with knowledge.
Books aren’t too much more expensive than groceries, so Henry’s dad doesn’t mind his new habit at first. Henry delights in every genre of book, but he likes red ones the best. It’s only when his ambition to become the smartest person in the world leads him to get overfull of books and his speech turns to nonsense that they get concerned. Plus, they’re faced with a tremendous library bill! Henry has to wean himself back onto broccoli, but he’ll always enjoy a much of a hardcover from time to time – as evidenced by the die-cut bite-marks on the back of the book!
The Incredible Book Eating Boy is my favorite kind of whimsical book for kids. It’s silly without being about breaking rules or lying – the fantasy of its silliness is perfectly clear. Despite being relatively sparse on words, it tells a rich, involving story via its illustrations. There’s enough there to significantly embellish the story, if you have a little one that allows you to go off-script. [Read more…] about Children’s Book Review: The Incredible Book Eating Boy & A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers