Storytime & The Incredible Book Eating Boy

A new adventure started today with “Mrs. Caryn” leading storytime at Union Ave Books in downtown Knoxville. It was great fun and we had an excellent turnout. Surprisingly, none of the children had read our featured book which was The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers.

This is a current favorite of mine and is an excellent book for all children, but especially for boys. Statistically, boys are less interested in reading and books from pretty early on, so it is deeply important to find captivating books and get them hooked as quickly as possible. Soon, I will be featuring my top list of books for boys and we’ll go into more detail about that. Tonight, let’s take a glance at the brilliance of Mr. Oliver Jeffers.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy is Oliver Jeffers third book of currently 10 that he has written and illustrated. He has quite a signature style in his characters, storyline, and lettering.

[Potential spoiler alert] Now for a quick plot recap: the book opens with Henry who loves books, but not as most people do. Throughout the book we learn of Henry’s fondness for eating books, the knowledge he gains by this diet and the eventual problems that ensue. In the end and quite by accident, Henry opens a book and discovers that reading is a much better and digestible way to love books.

The plot and pace of this book are fantastic. The storyline and message are reminiscent of Roger Duvoisin’s Petunia which also contains a misuse of books and the eventual discovery and love of reading. I think we can all agree, this is a wonderful and powerful message. The way Oliver Jeffers approaches it is crazy and spectacular. Children are greatly humored at Henry’s misunderstanding of books. This book is excellent at secretly teaching while being highly entertaining, which is a mark of a truly great book. There are numerous extras to be discovered and read in each illustration which also encourages budding readers. If you get the chance to sit down with it, please do. But make sure you read it, don’t eat it.

For all the Knoxvillians who missed today’s storytime, we’re on for September 8, 2012 at 11am. Please come join us. My brain is swirling with the options for our next reading and I’ll be sure to let you know once it is decided.

(All photos belong to me. All art belongs, of course, to Mr. Jeffers)

2 thoughts on “Storytime & The Incredible Book Eating Boy

  1. Hi Caryn,

    Just happened upon your website and believe we are kindred spirits. I love looking for interesting books for my son in used books stores. I’ve been reading to him forever – really, even before he was born and he’s almost 12. It’s still part of our wind-down ritual before bed.
    When I travel for work, I’m always drawn to bookstores anyway and found that bringing back a few surprise books made him happier than the it lego set or the pillow pet that cost way more and were much harder to pack in my suitcase. We’ve got a nice little collection now and such wonderful memories. Just wanted to connect with you. Will stop by again soon.


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