Incredible Book Eating Boy

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. 

Ah, the joy of a new Oliver Jeffers book where one is sure to venture into a strange, unknown world and return with a slightly different view of our own. 

This one is a winner from its title on through to the very end.  Henry is a boy who loves books, but not like we do.  Henry loves to eat books.  And as he eats them, they fill not only his stomach but his mind.  He decides that he has to eat more and more of them so he can become the smartest person in the world.  But eventually, the books start to upset his stomach and he can’t continue.  Or can he?

The illustrations are wonderful and complex.  They are done on a variety of book spines, book order cards, book pages, and much more.  This adds an entirely different dimension to the book and its illustrations.  On each page, there is an implied flavor and scent of old yellowed pages, wide and thin spines, and books in all of their varieties.  The text and illustrations are filled with sly humor which kids will love. 

So Jeffers does it again.  This is a great book to share with older elementary students who will get the jokes and the bizarre situation.  Preschoolers may not be sophisticated enough to truly get this story, so this would be a great one to share with elementary students learning about the library.  It would demonstrate how very cool librarians really are, just by reading this one aloud.

Who Likes Rain?

Who Likes Rain? by Wong Herbert Yee.

I enjoyed Yee’s Tracks in the Snow, and this one is another good one.  Published in the same half-size as his first book, this book takes a small child through a rainy day.  It pairs rhymes with a form of guessing game where sounds and rhyme give a hint to the type of animal that will fill in the blank.  The joy of a rainy day is captured as the little girl moves through her exploration of puddles, rain and wetness. 

The illustrations are charmingly done.  I appreciate the fact that the child could be of almost any race with her brown skin and dark hair.  Combine that with the great sound language where rain and water make a wide range of sounds from gurgle to rum-a-tum-tum to plip-plip-PLOP! 

It is a joy to read aloud and will have all children ready to get out their rain gear and jump into puddles.  Perfect for a spring storytime or to share with children who are learning to rhyme.  There is enough here to keep even antsy preschoolers happily listening.