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The Book That Eats People
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The Book That Eats People

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  695 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews

Legend has it there exists a book that eats people.

This is that book!

Many readers have been unable to escape its perilous pages.
But this isn't that book.

Yes it is!

This is simply a story about that book.
Really. I mean, how could a book eat people?
So if you're just dying to know the history of this literary monster, all you have to do is t
Hardcover, 38 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Tricycle Press

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This is not Becky typing this review. This is the book that ate Becky. She didn't heed the warnings that were all over this darkly hilarious story. She thought I'd be great to read to grade-school classes. Shows how much she knows. There's a reason librarians are pictured weeping in these pages. Mwahaha.
Mar 20, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The Book That Eats People by John Perry and illustrated by Mark Fearing tells the tale of a hungry book that finds readers at any cost to stop its stomach from growling!

What a pure creepy gem! It is so rare to find a scary picture book for kids, but this book seemed to just jump out from the shelf. Hmmm….maybe I should…no, never mind.

From the cover’s icy gaze to the look of pure terror on each victim’s face, the illustrations and collage style pages capture the reader’s attention and pull. Poor
Great concept, one my horror-loving child would really have dug, but the collage art style didn't quite work for me. And also, book titles on USian books are written on the spine to be read by leaning your head to the right, not the left! This is the second time this has shown up in a book recently, and I realize that this would bug pretty much no one else, but it annoys the hell out of me. Probably I have spent way too many hours of my life looking at USian book spines. I shudder to think how m ...more
Colby Sharp
Jun 19, 2012 Colby Sharp rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book, fantasy
I've heard that this guy does quite the author visit (scares the crap out of little kids).
Feb 11, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
My review from the point of view of the children first: My seven year-old niece really liked this book. She was completely engaged by the story, she giggled often at the pictures, and she really appreciated the effort that the writer and illustrator put into making it a great kid "horror" story for her. When we were done reading the book, she decided to take the book and play librarian with it, which delighted me! An absolute hit with her.

On one hand this book scared my three-year old nephew, (w
Jul 07, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
This is a strangely entertaining, but quite creepy story about a book that eats people. In fact, the book that you are reading, actually holding in your hands, eats people. The multimedia collage illustrations are quite humorous, and we loved the part about the book adopting a benign-looking bookcover with the title All About Dolphins.

Overall, it's a really fun book to read aloud and it really made our girls chuckle. I especially liked reading the author's bios at the back of the book, especial
Sarah Sammis
Apr 01, 2010 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
I heard about The Book That Eats People by John Perry via the Cybils. It wasn't in my category but I made an effort this winter to read as many of the nominated picture books. This book with it's evil grinning cover was top of my list of books to check out since Sean is such a fan of monsters.

The Book That Eats People is metafiction at its best. Here is the story of a book that gets hungry for human flesh, its victims and how it is finally caught. As the story progresses, the monster book become
This book EATS people. So, if you should find it, be careful. If it makes any funny noises, you’ll want to stop reading immediately, pile stuff on top of it, and probably run for your life – just to be safe. This is the story of the book and the people it’s eaten (a tragicomedy). Originally entitled, “What Happened to Sam Ruskin?” the book has now been labeled, “The Book That Eats People,” so you’ll know how to recognize it. Every effort has been made to rehabilitate it, but the book has acquire ...more
May 19, 2015 Kyrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children
This little gem showed up on my recommended book list and against my better judgement and because of a couple tongue in cheek reviews, I read it.

Ha, ha! How cute! This book is scary. It eats readers. It has to be put in jail and in zoos because it can't be trusted. Of course 8 and 9 year old kids find it hilarious. And I chuckled and finished it and set it down.

Then, well, I thought, I ought to be cautious, so I put a couple books on top of it, and as soon as I stood up, the books slid off. I'm
Feb 19, 2013 Jaye rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This book is recommended for ages 3-7. I don't know who came up with that age range but I believe the range starts far too young.
I would never read this to a very young child.
I would hate to be responsible if the child should fear books, even for a short while.

However, any child who has seen the Harry Potter movies has already been exposed to the sight of a people eating/biting book.

I enjoyed the illustrations. A combination of things including collage, drawing, painting, etc.
I have to say my fa
Mrs Bond
Jun 15, 2011 Mrs Bond rated it really liked it
Normally I talk about how I devoured a book, but this is a story about a book that eats people and other books. The text serves as a warning to all readers, especially those foolish enough to pick up a book without first washing off their snack. Illustrations are wild, depicting a ferocious and devious book on the hunt for his next meal.

A small issue with the text: at one point the author declares that this book was shelved between "The Complete Guide to Saints" and "Sandwiches Through the Ages.
Panda Incognito
It's rare to find a book for children that is actually, intentionally creepy, and if you have a small child with a wickedly dark sense of humor, they will love this. It's well-written, has creative illustrations, and is a rare book that is purposefully frightening without offering a happy, sunshiny, unexpected ending. I was suitably impressed with the execution of this idea that I would like to give this book a higher rating, but with full knowledge that this would have terrified the pants off m ...more
Sep 09, 2016 Zaz rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, horror
I should have expected something really scary, look at these eyes on the cover! This was a good horror picture book, with a book eating people (yes, the title gave a big hint). I found the story a little too much on the horror side for my tastes, so I wouldn't recommend it for little kids. I think it's probably better to burn the book when you finish it or something like that, I wouldn't be comfortable with this creature on my shelves. Otherwise, the art was really interesting with various style ...more
Dec 05, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorites, and just a hilarious book with great timing, great art work. Not for kids who are easily scared, but definitely for kids who can see the humor in this sort of thing. My favorite story is reading the book's flap copy out loud in front of the author. I didn't know he was the author! Loved meeting him and his book is just a lot of fun.
Donald Armfield
I just finished reading this creepy gem to my four year old daughter. We both shared some giggles.

But beware this book may eat the children who gets creeped out so easily. Always grab the monster from under their beds and beat them senseless right in front of them.

Children need monsters and books that eat people in their lives. So grab this book But beware
Nov 01, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, humor
For kids who have outgrown The Monster at the End of the Book.
Jun 05, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Kids rated 4 stars, mom 1 star.
Oct 04, 2016 Pear rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, great for all.
Sep 21, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
This book tries very hard to be clever and novel, but instead it feels gimmicky and tired. I think the book is just trying to hard. Or maybe it's hungry.



5 out of 5

Ease of Reading Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5

One day Sammy Ruskin checks out this very same book, and he soon discovers that this book has an appetite for — people. GULP. Will this book ever stop eating people? And will you be next?

This book is actually very cute and funny. It is kind of nice turn of events by saying a book who has an appetite for people,
Bri  Ahearn
Sep 06, 2009 Bri Ahearn rated it really liked it
This is a cautionary tale about a voracious book that may eat an unfortunate equally voracious and naive reader. The Book That Eats People by John Perry chronicles the horrific history of a book that, as the title says, eats people. This is that book. The book warns you not to read, as it's a particularly nasty-tempted book. If you do, you'll learn the fate of poor Sammy Ruskin, who was devoured by the pages, and the book's other two (so far) victims.

Who wouldn't want to read this book with that
Sep 10, 2016 Anna rated it liked it
A cautionary note: you should NOT read me... er, this book, which definitely did not eat Anna... for the first time in front of a group of children. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Miss Ryoko
Oct 19, 2015 Miss Ryoko rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When I saw this at the library, I knew it was for me. Look at that book's face on the cover! Hilarious!

This book didn't disappoint. The story itself is silly but it is the fantastic (and sometimes creepy) illustrations done by Mark Fearing (appropriately named? Haha!) that really made this book. The Book that eats people had so many great facial expressions! I couldn't get over it! I loved looking at all the little details of the illustrations. I also loved how the illustrations had a variety of
Apr 18, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Warning: Kids will LOVE this book. I read this for a crowd of 60+ 2nd graders for a class visit, and it completely held their ?(rapt, might I add) attention. It's a wonderful book for a storytime or read-aloud and it's definitely best read aloud rather than independently. It's lists in kid-friendly gory detail all the things the book has done to its victims, and the squelchy noises it makes when it's hungry. I also loved how it says to always wash your hands before you read the book... since it ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Sierra rated it really liked it
Caution: Keep book in safe secure area... or else you might be the next victim.
The book that eats people is all about exactly that, the book eating people. The book talks about the first victim and all the other victims after Sammy, the book goes on an adventure to many different places like a library and a zoo.

This book has interesting vocabulary and s such a different picture book that you have to read it. Definitely a twist to the regular happy ending picture books for children, very cool. A
Sep 26, 2011 Jadalynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is a picture book that eats people, for primary to intermediate readers. I’ll warn you, this book eats people, that’s all this book is about. It’s a bad book with teeth and claws, you should grind it page by page in your daddy’s coffee grinder. This book is one that will make anyone (myself included) pick it up off a shelf to read. It was the most requested book for me to read at summer camp. I read it two or three times a week. Children love to speculate over whether or not this book reall ...more
Sep 12, 2013 Sandy rated it liked it
Shelves: library, childrens
So what do you do with a book that eats people? For starters you are very careful around it. For Sammy who didn’t wash his hands after eating his lunch of a peanut butter sandwich he was not so careful and he ended up being the first person the book ate. Oh, there have been other…many others and as you read, the tales of how these unfortunate others got gobbled up by this starving book are portrayed in this picture book illustrated by Mark Fearling. The pictures are cute and the story covers lot ...more
Kacy Sullivan
Oct 28, 2012 Kacy Sullivan rated it it was amazing
The Book That Eats People, by John Perry is the story of an Evil book that eats tasty people. The pages warn the reader to never eat the book if you have syrupy or peanut buttery fingers. This book warns that it should never be read alone, and it is definitely not for little children because this book eats people. After eating Sammy Ruskin, Mr. Singh, Juan, and Joey the book is sent to jail, but it doesn't stop there. Find out if they are ever able to get this book to stop eating people, but rem ...more
Dec 13, 2012 Maureen rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This book has a very clever cover and an engaging title, but the actual book doesn't quite live up to the hype. While the book is cute and overall well done, I did not find it particularly scary. I guess I was expecting some type of 3D pop-up affect at the end of the book and was disappointed that it was not there. The artwork is engaging because it contains a variety of formats. There is the typical picture book color illustrations, but there are also pages that look like they are from a newspa ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Kristin rated it it was amazing
We originally got this book from the library, and I wasn't sure what the boys (4 and 2 at the time) would think - it's definitely a little gruesome ("his bones clattered across the floor like wooden blocks"), but both boys REVELED in the fine line between scary and silly that this book does so delightfully well. We ended up buying our own copy after renewing it twice, and it's still a favorite. It's very fun to read aloud, and the illustrations are great, which means I haven't gotten tired of it ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
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