Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Book That Eats People

Kirkus Review (September 1, 2009)
In the fine old tradition of Jon Stone's The Monster at the End of This Book, illustrated by Mike Smollin (1971), and like cautionary exercises, Perry provides thrillingly urgent warnings to steer clear of this volume--or at least not to read it while smelling of peanut butter or other foods. Clever enough to hide behind enticing dust jackets (All About Dolphins, anyone?) and having cannibalistic tendencies along with a particular taste for unwary children, the volume can lurk in libraries, boxes of literary rejects put out with household trash and any number of other seemingly innocuous locales--so watch out! Fearing's Photoshopped collages and cartoon illustrations have a suitably menacing aspect, featuring plenty of crumpled or shredded paper, pop-eyed victims and, on many spreads, a toothy maw and glaring eyes. A Roy Lichtenstein-esque spread that finds the book captured, jailed and chained after eating a fellow prisoner, "who deserved it," is particularly inspired. Perfect for sharing with susceptible younger sibs or as a gift item for frenemies. (Picture book. 6-8)

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