The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

The Lovereading4Kids comment

A brilliant picture book about a boy with an unusual attitude to books! Henry loves books but not in the same way as most people: Henry loves to eat books… He starts with just a word, then sentences until he’s built up enough stamina to eat up a whole book. With every book Henry eats, he becomes just a little bit cleverer…But there’s a moral, too. Oliver Jeffers sophisticated illustrations are witty and absorbing: the bite out of the corner of the book is a joke on its own!

Rob Biddulph on The Incredible Book Eating Boy:

One bedtime we were reading a new picture book that I’d bought her called The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver jeffers. The illustrations blew my mind. Each one was painted on an actual page or cover torn from a second-hand book, sometimes incorporating the original typography, and then photographed. It was just so clever. So beautiful. The whole package totally opened my eyes to the fact that a picture book can be a genuine work of art. So I started to look at the books we read each night in a different way. Maybe, I thought, this is something that I could do.


The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

The mouth-watering new book from acclaimed author illustrator, Oliver Jeffers. Henry loves books...but not like you and I. He loves to EAT books! This exciting story follows the trials and tribulations of a boy with a voracious appetite for books. Henry discovers his unusual taste by mistake one day, and is soon swept up in his new-found passion - gorging on every delicious book in sight! And better still, he realises that the more books he eats, the smarter he gets. Henry dreams of becoming the Incredible Book Eating Boy; the smartest boy in the world! But a book-eating diet isn't the healthiest of habits, as Henry soon finds out...


Mouth-wateringly irresistible The Guardian This is a book that children will devour. The Observer The whole thing looks good enough to eat. Times Educational Supplement a beautifully produced edition that really is good enough to eat. The Bookseller with IBEB, Jeffers has produced his most appealing work yet, conjuring up a magical piece of fiction that is not only divinely illustrated and wittily told, but perfectly realised. Junior

About the Author

Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers has won numerous awards and delighted millions of kids and parents alike with his beautifully hand illustrated stories.

Jeffers's picture books are wonderfully accessible. They explore themes of friendship, loneliness, independence and imagination. He has written and illustrated, or "made", as he prefers to put it, five hugely successful picture books. The first three - the "boy books" - feature a small boy who sets off on a series of daunting quests. How to Catch a Star (2004), the first of them, was inspired by a Brer Rabbit story he read as a child. In Lost and Found (2005) the boy heroically rows to the south pole for the sake of an unhappy penguin, and in The Way Back Home (2007) he rescues a young Martian whose spaceship has crashed on the moon.

The Heart and the Bottle is wholly compelling for the importance of its message and the brilliance of how that is conveyed in words and pictures. This is a book to return to time and time again says Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids’ editorial expert.

Oliver Jeffers

Jeffers was born in Australia in 1977 and brought up in Belfast. He studied visual communication at the University of Ulster, and graduated in 2001. Jeffers became passionate about making picture books when he began to understand the subtle relationship between words and pictures – ‘that was what excited me. Until I got really involved, I hadn't realised how just a few words can totally change the meaning of a picture.’ Now living in New York, he works as a painter, designer, printmaker and installation artist, but remains very busy making picture books.

Did you know?

Oliver loves plastic food, suitcase handles and Elvis, and has developed a bizarre habit of endlessly writing lists he never reads. He remains hell bent on travelling all over the world.

You can see Oliver talking about his artwork in this video:

We have a super set of Oliver Jeffers activity pages to download :

Once Upon an Alphabet colouring in.

The Day the Crayons Came Home maze.

Incredible Book-eating Boy wordsearch.

Stuck wordsearch.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 4


Oliver Jeffers
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HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

5th March 2007




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