How to Eat a Book

Union Square Kids. Oct. 2022. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781454945444.
K-Gr 3–Mrs. and Mr. MacLeod introduce cousins Sheila, Gerald, and Geraldine Grunion in this fun and clever book. With a touch of Lewis Carroll and a little bit of Edward Gorey, plus a smidge of Roald Dahl–style misadventure, the children are gobbled up by various books and must snack their way out of trouble. The Grunions are a great addition to story time. The text flows through repetition and a lyrical style. Readers will enjoy the humor in each child’s predicaments; each cousin has a distinct personality in both illustration and text: “Geraldine tore through the pages/ to a time where being terrible was terrific/ And Geraldine/ was terrific at being terrible.” She faces down a bright red T. rex, conquering the beast and returning herself to Grandma’s house. The MacLeods illustrate the Grunions using dipped pen and ink cut-out art, photographed in a three-dimensional stage diorama, then digitally colored. Shadow and light are used to guide viewers through each page. The style is deceptive at first, appearing simple with black-and-white scenes; later additions of color and shadow add depth that will have readers taking a second look.
VERDICT A refreshing book in text and art, with a title that grabs attention, a plot that delivers, and an ending that resonates. No child could possibly resist.

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