"The Incredible Book Eating Boy" - Oliver Jeffers

posted Feb 28, 2016, 12:52 PM by Amie Ridley
Welcome to the wonderful world of Oliver Jeffers picture books!  If you haven't come across Oliver Jeffers yet, you are in for some fun times. 

To be honest, I had a bit of a struggle picking exactly which book to feature here...

You see, we love Oliver Jeffers books.  We have bought one of his books for each of our girls when they were born, from the Boy and the Penguin series, because my husband loves penguins.  And I particularly like the Hueys series, and the little messages they contain about community presented in a really funny way.  The Hueys and the New Jumper is a very funny little book, riffing on the theme of originality and peer pressure.

So why did I pick "The Incredible Book Eating Boy" for this post?  I think mostly because its theme is precisely the way I feel about books.  That they are to be consumed and digested, to build our knowledge and expand our hearts.  It is very hard to write anything at this point without just writing the plot, but suffice to say that the Incredible Boy discovers that consuming books makes him smarter, and he craves more and more.  

So there is the obvious surface message that books make you smarter - something we can all agree with I am sure, and a great reason to read and read and read...  But there is a slightly more subtle message that too much, too fast, without consideration is not the best way to consume books, and that slowly digesting what you are reading (more metaphorically for us humans of course) is more beneficial than just cramming ourselves with knowledge.  Something to think about certainly, all in a funny book that is enjoyable to read.  

The other pleasure of Oliver Jeffers books are the artwork.  He was (and still is) an artist before he started writing picture books (more on the wonderful world of Oliver Jeffers here: http://www.oliverjeffers.com/).  And the artwork in "The Incredible Book Eating Boy" is fun, painted and drawn of bits of books which reinforces the theme in a very pleasing way.  I have a bit of a love for collage style images, so the style of painting on bits of books, incorporating old bits of paper as part of the images is very appealing to me.  

So get down to your local library, head to the kids section, and search under J today.  Or just log on, do an Author search, and request some new books.  You won't regret it!
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