From the Publisher
Review, Publishers Weekly:
"From the grim warning on the first page ('CAUTION! This is a book that eats people') to the advice at the end ('Never read this book with syrupy fingers. Never read it with cookies in your pocket. Never turn your back on it'), Perry's debut soldiers on with a Lemony Snicket–like straight face....It's all irresistible. Read it. Carefully."
Review, School Library Journal:
"This hilariously dark story is illustrated with collage elements using Photoshop in a jazzy, jangly style that is part noir and part graphic novel. Big-eyed characters are stalked by a wonderfully sinister and pointy-toothed tome. Readers who love monsters and a good scare while still delighting in silly proceedings will definitely want to brave this tale."
Review, Kirkus Reviews:
"Perfect for sharing with susceptible younger sibs or as a gift item for frenemies."
Review, Journal of Children's Literature:
"The playful, sarcastic storyline will entertain intermediate readers, while its subversive nature coupled with the intertextual elements will capture their attention."
From the grim warning on the first page (“CAUTION! This is a book that eats people”) to the advice at the end (“Never read this book with syrupy fingers. Never read it with cookies in your pocket. Never turn your back on it”), Perry's debut soldiers on with a Lemony Snicket–like straight face. The histories of the book's previous victims are given in gory detail (“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”). Fearing draws the book-within-a-book with blood-red covers, heavy-lidded eyes and a mouthful of fangs, packing his collage spreads with torn and crumpled papers (which take on an especially gruesome vibe in this context). Perry also covers the book's perverse appetites (“if you hear a sound like an octopus in a tub of yogurt, that's the book's empty stomach”), tactics (it “traded covers” with a book called All About Dolphins, to the delight of one young Victoria Glassford) and eventual (if ineffectual) incarceration. It's all irresistible. Read it. Carefully. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Beware" is stamped on the jacket, as eyes peer out at us, for this is the book that eats people. We are warned to shut it and put something heavy on top if we hear it growl. For it is always hungry. We are horrified by stories of the unfortunates the book has already eliminated if they had something tasty on their fingers or were simply there when the book was hungry. We are told that this is a bad book that we should burn or grind up. For despite reports to the contrary it keeps on eating, even when chained in jail. When sent to the zoo to be reformed, nothing stops its taste for people. But we choose to read on, fully warned about what we hold in our hands, enjoying macabre fun. The fantasy is visualized in Photoshop with "collage elements." Characters are cartoon-y; page designs effectively varied. The resulting visual sequence wants to move rapidly but displays images that insistently distract us. A single reading is not enough. Is there some deep symbolism in the power of this book? Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—In this tale of tongue-in-cheek terror, a breathless narrator warns readers about a book gone rogue. Beginning with a peanut-butter-fingered child who pages through it and is gobbled up, the book leaves a trail of bones, chewed pages, and missing children and grown-ups as it takes advantage of its prey's cluelessness. Finally caught by police after someone sees it in action, the jailed book is transferred to the zoo. But readers are holding the very book and are warned at the conclusion, "…this book is always hungry. And it eats people." This hilariously dark story is illustrated with collage elements using Photoshop in a jazzy, jangly style that is part noir and part graphic novel. Big-eyed characters are stalked by a wonderfully sinister and pointy-toothed tome. Readers who love monsters and a good scare while still delighting in silly proceedings will definitely want to brave this tale.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
In the fine old tradition of Jon Stone's The Monster at the End of This Book, illustrated by Mike Smollin (1971), and like cautionary exercises, Perry provides thrillingly urgent warnings to steer clear of this volume-or at least not to read it while smelling of peanut butter or other foods. Clever enough to hide behind enticing dust jackets (All About Dolphins, anyone?) and having cannibalistic tendencies along with a particular taste for unwary children, the volume can lurk in libraries, boxes of literary rejects put out with household trash and any number of other seemingly innocuous locales-so watch out! Fearing's Photoshopped collages and cartoon illustrations have a suitably menacing aspect, featuring plenty of crumpled or shredded paper, pop-eyed victims and, on many spreads, a toothy maw and glaring eyes. A Roy Lichtenstein-esque spread that finds the book captured, jailed and chained after eating a fellow prisoner, "who deserved it," is particularly inspired. Perfect for sharing with susceptible younger sibs or as a gift item for frenemies. (Picture book. 6-8)
Read an Excerpt
This is a book that eats people.
If you hear growling while you're reading it, stop reading, close the cover, and put something heavy on top of it.
DO NOT let your little brother or sister read this bookespecially when it's hungry.
You should always assume this book is hungry.
This is NOT a storybook.
It is NOT a book of rhymes.
It isn't a how-to book or a dictionary.
It's a book that eats people.