Jeffers, O. (2007). The incredible book eating boy. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
I love this book! First of all, I adore the illustrations. I could read this book over and over again just to look at them! But I also love the idea of a kid loving books so much that he begins eating them and becomes smarter! I use this book to talk about falling in love with reading. I always have a group of kids who love to read, but also have that group of kids who claim to hate reading already. I use this as a silly way to find out what interests all of my kids, but those “reading haters” especially!
After reading the book out loud, I start a discussion about the hobbies or topics kids really enjoy: those things that they would “eat up” if they could. I tell them that they are going to make a picture of themselves being an incredible “blank” eating boy or girl. They fill in the blank with something they really love. So for example, if a student loves basketball, she would write “The Incredible Basketball Eating Girl”. They draw themselves (or mainly their heads) on a page with their mouths open wide. Then they think of everything related to that topic that they love: being part of a team, the uniform, the fans, the ball, etc. They draw these (or find images from magazines and glue them) going into their mouth.
After most students have finished, I ask everyone to return to the meeting area to share. I have them share their pictures, explain them, and look for connections between their portraits and others in the room. For the kids, I post these in the room or in the hall as a way for students to earn about each other’s interests. For me, I make a note of students’ interests and use the list to stock my room with books that would interest that group of students.