I have a confession to make

I have a confession to make.

When I was a wee babe, I ate books. Yes, I did. I ate them. They were right there. They smelled quite nice. And I found that they tasted pretty good.

But the Mom Person moved them out of my reach and I soon found other, better things to chew on and eat. Now, in my maturity, I enjoy books because they bring me closer to the people that I love. They bring me soft hands and soothing voices. Sometimes giggles and laughter. And sometimes I learn a thing or two.

A book that was recently read to me and brought those peals of JOY and laughter is another one by that wonder boy, Oliver Jeffers. The Incredible Book Eating Boy. It was published by Philomel Books in 2006. It is suitable for all ages. It is hilarious!


I am a HUGE Oliver Jeffers fan! His books are incredibly unique. This story is about Henry, a boy who LOVES books! But, he loves to EAT them! He loves to eat all sorts of books. And he finds that the more he eats — the smarter he gets! And he wants to be smart, so he eats and eats. But then he finds that he is feeling very ill indeed! And all the books that he was ingesting start getting all mixed up. In his tummy and in his head. Everyone tells him he should stop eating books. So he decides that he must. Then one day he picks up a book and instead of eating it, he opens it and reads it. And, lo and behold!, he discovers that he loves to READ!


The story is a fun one, but the book itself is a real treasure. There is a big piece of the back of the book that has been bitten off! ( I did not do it!) The kids thought that was pretty funny. But the really clever thing is that the illustrations and text are printed on copies of real book pages from found books. Mr Jeffers has said that he used pieces of paper that he got from trash bins! Who would think to do such a thing!?

The kids that read this book to me gave it a very high 5. and I give it 4 big paws up. You must check it out!
This book lends itself to a discussion of the proper care and use of books. Some resources can be found here and here.
And here is a pdf file for a bookmark with rules on it!

Now you might want to head over to Susanna Hill’s blog — It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! and there will be lots of great books and resources for you to check out!

35 thoughts on “I have a confession to make

  1. LOL at ‘I did not do it’ sounds like a great book. My Sandy used to chew books too. I should get her reading too!

    • Oh! Those bunnies are worse than Labs! We’ve got some woodwork stripped by a bunny. ( We also have some woodwork stripped by a Lab). Maybe bunnies and Labs are very similar in nature. Hmmmm. and – that Mr Jeffers just cracks me up!

  2. Rhythm, one of my kitties chewed his way through several pairs of my shoes *sigh*. You’re in good company. I am a big Jeffers’ fan. He lives here in Brooklyn and has had an exhibition here in NYC recently. This book sounds rather yummy!

    • Our cat likes to eat photographs. Cats are crazy. But then Labs have been known to munch on shoes as well. I wish that dogs could go to exhibitions. And that Mr Jeffers might come to Texas. He is a very funny man.

  3. great review – and video too! so, do you think that if you’d eaten the pages (instead of the covers) you might be smarter? Or able to read better? Or would all those words just argue in your tummy and cause a great rumpus and indigestion?

    • That’s an interesting thought. We talked about that with the kids when we read the book and they all thought that they would be very sick if they ate a book. In the book, Henry starts out getting smart but then gets a big tummy ache. I have eaten some pages in my time. ( the Mom Person couldn’t get pictures of those!)They did not give me a tummy ache and I have gotten smarter over time. Soooo —- maybe if you do it slowly and give the words time to line up just right —

  4. Thanks so much for providing the interesting info about how the book was written…what’s one man’s (or dog’s) trash is another one’s treasure.:)
    How fun that part of the book is ‘bitten’ off…you are right….kids will love that.
    I loved seeing picture of you enjoying the book…you have a wonderful Mom Person…I’m glad she reads to you often.:) Every mom should do that with her kids.:)

    • I do have a wonderful Mom Person! She is my sun and my moon. She reads to me A LOT! But even better — she takes me to school and the library so I can read with kids! They bring a whole different perspective to books and reading and life! I have a good job!

  5. Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm – I’m glad to see you’ve turned over a new leaf! If you’re ever in CO, I have a nice stuffed thing (can’t remember what it WAS!) reserved for visiting dogs! I think I’ll be picking this book from my library’s menu very soon!

  6. Your wonderful post made me think of this quote by Maurice Sendak:
    “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

    Thanks for the post! I definitely need to read more Oliver Jeffers to my son. 🙂

  7. I’m a huge Oliver Jeffers fan, too! THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY was funny (I laughed at the chewed-up page and the part about broccoli (Was it broccoli?), though my favourite favourites of his are still LOST AND FOUND and STUCK. So glad to meet a fellow Jeffers fan, Rhythm!

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