THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY

In a cautionary tale about the perils of unbridled bibliophagy, once young Henry discovers that the more books he eats the smarter he gets, he proceeds to gorge—and not only racks up humongous library fines, but ends up with both stomach and brains aboil with undigested content. Embarrassing incidents ensue. Painting and assembling scraps into collages on a wide range of papers, from the insides of tattered dust jackets to old official forms and yellowed graph paper, Jeffers crafts exuberantly raffish illustrations featuring a round-headed lad drawn in quick cartoon style. Ultimately, Henry comes to realize that it’s more enjoyable to read books than to eat them—though, as a chewed-away corner on the rear cover of this one reveals, he’s not immune to occasional backsliding. Dish this out to eager readers, with a grain of salt, and watch them snap it up. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-399-24749-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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MIKE FINK

A tall-tale introduction to the ``King of the Keelboatmen,'' from the time he ran away from home at the age of two days to his literally explosive confrontation with steamboat captain Hilton B. Blathersby. The historical Fink was a cruel man who came to a violent end, but Kellogg depicts him as a friendly-looking, fun-loving youth; indeed, nearly all of the keelboatmen here- -black, white, old, and young—are smiling, clean-cut types, rather at odds with their usual roughneck image. Though Fink spends much of his time wrestling men or bears, Kellogg's description of him seems bland in comparison to his glowing, energetic illustrations, and less heroic than his other legendary figures. (Picture book/Folktale. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 1992

ISBN: 0-688-07003-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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