Friday, October 25, 2013

The Day Louis Got Eaten - Perfect Picture Book Friday

Don't let this cover scare you off! This non-Halloween monster story will fascinate kids.

Title: The Day Louis Got Eaten

Author/Illustrator: John Fardell

Publisher: Anderson Press USA, 2012
FICTION

Audience: 2-7

Themes: Sibling love, Monsters

Opening: Louis and his big sister Sarah were out in the woods one day . . .
                 . . .when , unfortunately. . .
                . . .Louis was eaten up by a Gulper.

Synopsis: Without hesitation, big sister Sarah chases on her bicycle after her brother who has been swallowed whole by a Gulper, which is then swallowed by successively bigger and bigger crazily named creatures. Neither mountains or valleys or oceans can stop her bicycle chase!And somehow, she knows about the Hiccup Frog that frees Louis. Unfortunately, this places Sarah on the now empty-bellied, hungry creatures' menu, but this is a picture book folks, so you know a happy ending ensues!

What I like about this book: I was nervous when I picked up this book. The combination of the scary title and the bright orange monster leering over the children on the cover seemed like it might be too much for youngsters. But I was pleasantly surprised!
     In cumulative fashion the story builds from scene to scene, at each page turn leaving the reader to wonder - is this it? What more can there be? The creatures are fantastic. Equal parts scary and alluring fantasy adventure. Sarah's amazing bike ride over makeshift bridges, underwater and pulled by a wind-sail is similarly compelling. And there's still the text to consider! Reading the words aloud, the creatures names are fun to say! The Undersnatch and the Spiney-backed Guzzler are just two of the gobblers along the way. With a sparse text, the author moves the story masterfully until Louis speaks his only line of dialogue to punctuate the climax. This photo shows the intrepid Sarah climbing inside layers of creatures to reach her Louis. Charming and fascinating! I'm betting kids want to get close up with this book and trace Sarah's path with their fingers.

Activities and Resources: Anderson Press has a two page activity sheet for this book. The book can be used to discuss onomatopoeia. It has great words like "raar" and "splosh." You can hear the author read the book in a Youtube video. Blogger wouldn't let me embed it in this post (who knows why?!) but it did let me put it in a separate post. So scroll below if you want to see that, I'll post that first. I know I enjoyed John Fardell's Scottish accent! (And if you scroll down one post beyond the video you can learn who I've tagged for the next posts in the Liebster award!)


This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.

Thanks for stopping by! Will you be dressing up for Halloween this year? My life-size dog suit is always a hit with the trick or treaters who come to our door!
 

19 comments:

  1. Ha! I have never read this book -- thanks for sharing it, Wendy :D

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    1. Halloween is a great time for FUN stories. No hidden message, just a hoot.

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  2. Thank you for posting this... Sarah sounds like an amazing girl!
    I want a life-sized dog suit....

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    1. I had been a dog rescue volunteer and to get visibility for adoption events I made the suit (and wore it streetside- I have no shame!). The tag on the collar is a big ADOPT ME.

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  3. This is the day for fabulous titles on PPBF! There is no way my little one is going to want to miss a book with a title like that. I have a feeling this book will be in his "top ten." That's okay, because I never get tired of reading cumulative rhymes aloud. Thanks.

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    1. Even though the book is recent, the library copy already has taped together pages. It is being well loved!

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  4. That's the most imaginative book I've heard in ages, Wendy. What fabulous illos too. A newbie couldn't paint that ;)

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    1. It was one that took me by surprise! I wasn't expecting to love it like I did.

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    1. The bold colors kind of remind me of the header on your site, Julie!

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  6. Oh! I love this book!! Loved hearing Mr Fardell reading it! Fortunately --- I have a library nearby. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. We lived in the UK for four years and his voice took me back.

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    1. Girls (and boys) just want to have it. Fun and this book that is.

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  8. I love the imagination used in this book. It sounds quite unique and the illustrations look wonderful. Great suggestion for Halloween!

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    1. Thanks, Pat. This is a symphony for the imagination.

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  9. The illustration example is fascinating, Wendy!

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  10. Wonderful illustrations and an even more amazingly creative story. Thanks, Wendy.

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