Mx3: Review: The Book That Eats People by John Perry

October 5, 2011 4-8 years of age, Murders, Monsters, & Mayhem 7

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover:38 pages
  • Publisher:Tricycle Press (October 13, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1582462682
  • Source: Library copy

The book is always hungry. One day, an unlikely victim by the name of Sammy Rushkin forgot to wash his hands after eating lunch. The book tasted the peanut butter on Sammy’s fingers & snapped, devouring him immediately. Sammy was the book’s first victim, but not its last.

Sammy’s parents donated it to the library after it devoured their son. It was tightly shelved between two books, Complete Guide to the Saints and Sandwiches Through the Ages.  It wasn’t released until the book next to it was removed. It then devoured the security guard.  The next morning, the librarian’s discovered it swallowing the past pages of How Things Work.

Experts say that when a book eats someone it’s either self-defense or a mistake, and the book never eats anyone again.

The book then traded covers with another book, then went home in the unknowing hands of Victoria Glassford. It gobbled her down that night. It continued to eat children, ending up in jail.

Some people think it’s cruel to chain a book. The guards did it anyway.


A book-loving judge felt bad for the book, so he sent it to the zoo where the keepers attempted to reform it. They attempted to feed it delicious food like ice cream and hot dogs. Nothing satiated the books hunger, for all it wanted was to eat people. Who knows what ever happened to the book. Perhaps it’s still out there sitting…waiting…

One might think that this is a terrifying book to read, but my six-year-old son actually loved it! He thought a people-eating book was quite humorous.  The tone was light, nothing incredibly scary happening on the pages. Additionally, I think the illustrations, drawn by the aptly-named Mark Fearing, really aided my son’s appreciation and delight in this book:


Each page is full of such detail, my son would spend several minutes devouring the illustrations. We really had a great time reading this book. With every book, I ask my six-year-old what he learned from reading that book. His response “Don’t eat food around books and don’t chain up books because they’ll get mad!” Classic! We definitely plan on purchasing this book, destined to be a Halloween read for the family for years! Highly recommended, but definitely for school-age kids!

7 Responses to “Mx3: Review: The Book That Eats People by John Perry”

  1. carol

    Sounds like one my daughter would have loved a few years ago. I may have to see if our library has it anyway. I want to read it.

  2. Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks

    That is one adorable book!! I wish I knew someone to buy it for!!

  3. Karen White
    Twitter: karenwhitereads

    Bought it. Kids can’t wait.
    Also recommended to school librarian (what is left of her after CA cuts, sigh.)

  4. Debbie's World of Books
    Twitter: debworldofbooks

    Wow, I might have to check this one out when K gets a little older. She’s kind of timid so not sure it’s right for her right now but I might have to check it out myself :)

  5. Mark Fearing

    Thanks for the review! I am the illustrator of this book. It just keeps finding new victims. I also have some posters for it on the Facebook page that can be downloaded and printed and a gift tag that’s perfect for giving a Holiday copy to those stout of heart enough to get a book like this!
    -Mark Fearing

    gift tags under the Free Gift Tags heading.