I Will Chomp You!
Written by Jory John
Illustrated by Bob Shea
(Random House BYR; $17.99, Ages 3-7)
★Starred Review – Booklist
If you stepped inside my library during a recent reading of this book, you would have heard a ferocious sounding monster (a.k.a the librarian) roaring out:
“I WILL CHOMP YOU, BUSTER!”
Then you would have heard my kindergartners scream back:
“I WILL CHOMP YOU!”
Squealing in delight and quivering with anticipation, my kinders beg me to turn the page.
“You’ve been officially WARNED!” hollers the monster. Then he lunges out and …
and misses. Then he warns us:
“You do NOT want to turn another page, buster.”
My students wonder why. Well, as the story continues, we quickly learn that this monster has something to hide and will use everything at his disposal, including bribery and deceit, to prevent us from finding what’s inside the book.
But, my curious and giggling students are not intimidated, even as they gasp aloud or cringe behind a classmate. They want to know what that monster’s hiding. So, I turn the page and …
Whew! He missed. But … realizing that his threats are not working, the once fierce, but now desperate monster politely requests that we not turn the page. He even gets a bit teary and finally reveals his sweet and delicious secret. He might be willing to share it if we will …
“just come a little closer …
a little bit closer now” ….
“No, no, no!” scream my kindergartners, as I start to turn the page.
When the monster misses yet again, he’s willing to make a deal, but can he be trusted?
Read on … if you dare!
This deceptively simple and wonderfully interactive story had my students laughing, shouting, and jumping up in excitement. The oversize words encouraged students to read aloud and interact with the story. Soon they realize that under no circumstances can this monster be trusted – he’ll do anything, even risk a stomach ache, to prevent us from discovering his secret.
Shea’s stylized and brightly colored illustrations focus mainly on the monster (and his chompers), creating an uncluttered look on the pages. Large, simple shapes (ovals, circles, triangles, etc.) that make up the monster’s body and his exaggerated facial expressions, contribute to the humor and action in John’s story.
Visit author Jory John’s and illustrator Bob Shea’s websites to learn more about them and their work. Check out the short Youtube book trailer below and this pdf from Random House Kids for a yummy activity certain to make all little chompers happy.
- Reviewed by Dornel Cerro