Two more review are out for The Book That Eats People. The reviewers seem to get the attitude of this book, which is great. I had one discussion with someone concerned about what age child the book is appropriate for. I don’t think age is as big of issue as is the personality of the child. I know a certain three year old who, while she thinks it’s scary, LOVES how bad the book is, and doesn’t think it’s real. Not like VAMPIRES. Or bears. This three year old is REALLY scared of bears. Except blue or pink bears. Those aren’t scary. But I digress…
Certainly the book will appeal more to kids 4 and up. But I believe it’s too funny to be REALLY scary. I think watching ‘commentators’ on TV ‘news’ is far scarier.
First up a review from The School Library journal.
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.
—School Library Journal, November 2009
And from the Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Book
“The title gives you fair warning, but in case you’ve missed the point, the text underscores it firmly: “This is NOT a storybook. It is NOT a book of rhymes. It isn’t a how-to dictionary. It’s a book that eats people.” Apparently the book got a taste for flesh by snacking on a young owner, and since then there have been various, only intermittently successful attempts to contain its savagery; now it’s up to the current reader to look out for him/herself. This isn’t a plot, exactly, but it’s still a deliciously dark piece of comedy with a pleasingly horrific air, and the history of the volume’s malfeasance has the well-honed feel of a scary campfire story. The illustrations, created in Photoshop, encompass a startling variety of styles and effects. The colors have a bright opacity reminiscent of acrylic paints with a smudgy frescoed texture; thin lines, droll caricature, and beady eyes on the figures suggest European animation; sinister nibbles round the edge and bits of collage elements, especially burped-up print, offer reminders of the menacing message, while quick views of the glowering, toothy book (and one look into the dripping-fanged abyss) itself leave no doubt of the text’s veracity. This has the same jaunty literary irreverence as Kevin O’Malley’s works, and his fans will appreciate this as a bracing counterpoint to all those gentle self-aware book stories (like Gerstein’s A Book, BCCB 7/09); it could also simply add interest in the library for those kids who’d rather destroy books than read them and who will therefore be tickled by the idea that there’s one prepared to fight back.”
—Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books, November 2009
And for an extra treat, some more early art for The Book That Eats People. This is from the page where we let readers know it is NOT a book of rhymes or a fairytale. It has several smaller elements on it, each of those was painted large and reduced to fit in the overall layout I established. This is an early draft with some type for placement only. I wanted it to look older then the typical illustration on the pages. At the same time I didn’t want to push it o far that it was ‘antique’ looking.
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