Standalone. Philomel (April 2006) Library
Like many children, Henry loves books. But Henry doesn't like to read books, he likes to eat them. Big books, picture books, reference books . . . if it has pages, Henry chews them up and swallows (but red ones are his favorite). And the more he eats, the smarter he gets—he’s on his way to being the smartest boy in the world! But one day he feels sick to his stomach. And the information is so jumbled up inside, he can’t digest it! Can Henry find a way to enjoy books without using his teeth? With a stunning new artistic style and a die-cut surprise, Oliver Jeffers celebrates the joys of reading in this charming and quirky picture book. It’s almost good enough to eat.
One day, accidentally, Henry tastes a book. He thought it tasted pretty good so he tried some more. He eats a letter, a word, a sentence, and then a whole book! Before you know it Henry has consumed hundreds of thousands of books. He becomes smarter with each book he eats. Then he slowly but surely becomes sick and all that he's learned becomes too confusing for him to even communicate with others. Henry seriously wants to become the smartest person in the world but how can he possibly be able to do that now?
I loved the backgrounds and illustrations from this book. Jeffers gave texture in his images. I liked the way everything seemed to be scrapbooked together at times. The end of the cover and last few pages even had what seems to be bite marks which I thought was genius. The story itself was okay. I felt it was kind of a bit predictable. The plot is a fun one - very much a good story to tell young readers. Even if it didn't shock or thrill me I can see many young readers enjoying Henry's tale.