Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Incredible Book Eating Boy

Jeffers, Oliver (Author/Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2007. 32 pages
First published: 2006
ISBN: 9780007182312 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This is the story of Henry, the boy who ate books. He began by tasting a word, then a sentence, followed by a whole page.

The narrative voice is muted and nuanced, reminiscent of an elderly uncle sharing a tale: “Henry loved books. But not like you and I love books, no. Not quite . . . .” The artistic use of complicated typefaces adds a level of expression to the restrained tone of the text.

Intriguing and sophisticated, the illustrations combine collage, pencil and vivid colour. They depict Henry’s new gustatory hobby: a book for a snack, or with fries on the side, or tossed in the blender for a delicious shake. With all those digested words and ideas, Henry becomes a very smart boy in no time at all.

But Henry overeats; the books start to come back up. Worse, the knowledge gets all jumbled in his brain. When Henry discovers that he enjoys reading books, his dream of becoming the smartest person in the world seems within reach again. An excellent book choice for children who love to read—and those who don’t. Every child will enjoy the wit of the printer’s die-cut “bite” taken out of the book’s final page and back cover.

  •  

    Discuss the benefits of reading. Identify reasons why you read (for pleasure, to find information about food, to understand game instructions, etc.).

  •  

    Discuss the meaning of genre. List the genres you are familiar with. How do we read fiction and nonfiction texts differently?

  •  

    Select a variety of books from your classroom library. What do they have in common? How could they be organized? Do you have a favourite type of book? Read one with a friend.

  •  

    Write the story of what would happen if Henry's dream of being eaten by a book were to come true.

  •  

    Act out the story using puppets.

  •  

    Draw a mind map of things you read (magazines, directions, instructions, street names, online posts) and the reasons why you read them (pleasure, information, learning).

  •  

    Compare and contrast the ways we read fiction and non-fiction. Report the results using a Venn diagram.

  •  

    Find words from the book that mean to eat. Explain the differences between them.

  •  

    Use reference books or other sources to identify and learn the names of places cited in the book. Indicate whether they belong to home, school or city. Use a target style (concentric circles) graphic organizer to display the information.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Drama
  • Science and Technology