I picked Amber up after school the other day. She opened the passenger door and innocently reached for the books stacked on the seat to put them in back, like she has to most days. I’m sure I’m not the only one who tends to have books in the car. I had to yell for her to be careful. No, I didn’t yell too loud, I wouldn’t want to embarrass her. But she was reaching for The Book That Eats People! She just rolled her eyes at me. She’s getting good at that, but she is 11, I guess I should get used to it.

This is an irresistible, if potentially dangerous book. A great book to read aloud to pre-school or younger elementary kids, it tells about the book’s journey and its victims, like poor Sammy Ruskin, the first kid the book ate. You see, he had forgotten to wash his hands after lunch and they smelled like peanut butter. The book simply couldn’t resist. It might sound a little scary, but kids like the safe kind of scary, the kind that they know won’t really get them, but they have pretending it’s possible, at least mine did.Of course, this is one where you have to know you own kids, those too young or too easily frightened may be more fearful than entertained.

It’s a warped book, one that both parents and kids will get a kick out of. The text is funny and simple, but I can picture kids hanging on every word.

But if you hear a sound like an octopus in a tub of yogurt, that is the book’s empty stomach and the book is RAVENOUS. If you hear THAT, find someone nearby—FAST—who might taste delicious to a book.

And the illustrations by Mark Fearing are colorful and varied, matching the tone of the book perfectly. The poor book, though, I did feel sorry for it at times, even if it is a serial killer. Of course books don’t want to be left neglected, never checked out in libraries, or chained up.

It is a delightfully dark-humored picture book. And make no mistake, there really are no lessons to learn here. It’s just pure fun.

But remember – BE CARFEUL!

If you’re brave, you can purchase The Book That Eats People from Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

3½ out of 5 stars

Category: Picture Book

Published October 13th 2009 by Tricycle Press
38 pages

Book source: Library