By Oliver Jeffers
(Harper Collins, 2006)
There's a big difference between eating green eggs and ham and eating Green Eggs and Ham. In The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Henry opts for the latter, consuming books in a manner that fills the stomach as it feeds the brain. Henry begins with a word, then a sentence and builds up to downing an entire book in one sitting. It's the express way to becoming smart. Until things backfire.
I have read this book to many classes and it is always a hit. Jeffers's straightforward text is enhanced by simple pictures superimposed on maps and what appears to be faded print from old books. The result is marvelous, a book that can be read or simply leafed through dozens of times. The book's design even includes an extra delight on the back cover: a bite missing in the bottom corner. Even before I show the title, I act aghast as I stare at the bite mark and gaze at the attentive group of listeners. Who didn't have enough for lunch?! Who has been feasting on my precious book?! It's a startling hook and the audience remains intrigued until the book is finished.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy is a delectable treat!