i’m gonna get your toes

The new favorite book at our house (mercifully supplanting nonfiction about moose for the moment) is this hilarious book by John Perry:

Apparently a carnivorous book who actively attack humans makes children laugh.  Huh.  This book, however, reminded me of my favorite book as a child:

While in Perry’s story, the book is actively chowing down on little children, janitors, etc. the Grover book (as the milder precursor for instilling a fear of books in children) relies on anticipation to make the kids scared of the monster at the end of the book.  No narration of the monster’s evil deeds, no description of the book spitting out bones, just sweet, innocent dread of the unknown and the unseen.

As a child, I can remember howling at Grover trying to brick together the pages or tie them down only to have my mother destroy his hard work with a flick of her wrist.  Reading  The Book That Eats People with my kids today, I rejoiced in getting them to shriek by making the book snap at the feet and lunge for their noses.  I love the old-fashioned stories of Elsa Beskow and Robert McCloskey, but sometimes it’s nice to get the kids giggling and squirming and wondering what if….

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