Friday, 15 February 2013

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week, week ending Friday 15th February 2013 - "I Really Want To Eat A Child" by Sylviane Donnio and Dorothee De Monfried (Hodder Children's Books)

Achilles the crocodile is grumpy. Achilles the crocodile is also very naughty. Achilles the crocodile does not want to eat bananas for breakfast any more. Achilles the crocodile wants to eat...a child!

We've had our eye on this book for ages and finally managed to pick it up. The title caught our eye, but the book itself is such a well observed look at the way children think (even kid crocs!) that it is very deserving of our prestigious "Book of the Week" status.

Achilles begins to annoy his mum and dad as they put all manner of fantastic fare in front of him, trying to tempt him away from his single-minded goal of scoffing down a child. He won't be coaxed, cajoled or reasoned with (sound familiar, parents? Still trying to get your child to eat spinach or onions? Yep us too!)

Like most children (and probably crocs) Achilles has to find out the hard way that perhaps eating a child won't be quite as easy as it seems.

There's such a delicious payoff at the end of this, and throughout it subtly mixes two things children absolutely love to see in their books. A pinch of naughty and subversive behaviour, and a character that's engaging but also a little bit scary and dangerous (even as tiny as Achilles is!)

Thoroughly recommended and every bit as great as we hoped it would be.

Charlotte's best bit: The lovely chocolate cake Achilles parents try to tempt him with. Charlotte only 'does' one type of cake, and it's chocolate cake. The gooier the better!

Daddy's favourite bit: Great repetition, brilliant and simple illustrations and the sort of title that makes you sit up and take notice even before you've opened the front cover. Sublime!