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
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
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!