The Incredible Book Eating Boy

Written and Illustrated by: Oliver Jeffers

Before Reading

Preview and Predict

Henry loves books but not in the way that you'd think. He is far more interested in eating them than he is in reading them, but when the books don't stay down, he discovers that maybe reading is a better way of taking in the information. Look over the cover and talk about the illustrations and what your child finds interesting. Ask questions like:

What do you notice on the cover?

Why do you think Henry likes to eat books?

What do you think books taste like?

What do you think will happen in this story?

What are some different kinds of books? (Ex. cookbooks, dictionaries, storybooks, school books, etc)

As You Read

Build Language

While reading the text, also remember to read the words in the illustrations as well! Book titles, descriptions and dialogue give more context and information about the story like the kinds of things Henry is learning and what books he likes to eat. Also, point out that the story is told on recycled pages from books (maybe books that Henry has eaten). Encourage your child to stop when s/he gets to a new word in the story. See if s/he can discover its meaning by using the illustrations and words surrounding it. Examples of new words from The Incredible Book Eating Boy include:

  3. BOKE


Monitor Comprehension

Take a moment every once in awhile to chunk information about what you've read so far and make predictions about what you think will happen next. Ask questions that connect the story to your child's life as well as the world around him/her like, "How did he first make the mistake that made him start eating books? (Licked the book instead of his popsicle) What do you think his parents thought about his book eating? How else can he get smarter instead of eating the books? What do people go to the doctor for? What do you think the doctor will tell Henry? Why? What do you think will happen next?"

After Reading

Make Connections

Take this time to recap the story and build comprehension of the storyline. Try using these questions and any more that may come to mind:

(Turn the book over) Look, I think Henry took a bite out of this book!

Did you like that story? What was your favorite part?

Henry loves to eat books. What do you love to eat? Is eating ______ good for you or bad for you?

What was Henry called in the beginning of the story? What about at the end? Why?

Why did Henry stop eating books? Is there something that you like to do that you probably shouldn't do?

Extending the Story

Art Project!

Supplies: recycled newspaper and books, paint, a paintbrush, markers, and any other art supplies your child wants to use

As you may have noticed, the pages in this book are recycled pages from other books. You can turn this into a really cool art project with your child in just a few easy steps. Begin by finding an interesting newspaper article or a page ripped from an old book that you no longer read. Read the page or talk about what it is about and then illustrate that on the page! Create an image that describes the whole story or just that particular page. If it is a page from an old dictionary, depict one of the words on that page, or if it is a newspaper article about a dog being saved, depict the scenario!


STEM Extensions

Talk About Healthy Meals

Henry learned the hard way that books don't make the most well-balanced meals. Talk to your child about eating healthy and plan a healthy meal together. Here are some tips on how you can make food fun and some ideas for how your little one can help you in the kitchen.


Survey People's Favorite Books

Make a chart that documents what books your family and friends love to read! Have a column for Name, Favorite Book, and Reason Why It's Their Favorite. If there happen to be books that several people list, count them up and rank the books in order of most to least votes!