Here's the thing. I DO think that the bear in I WANT MY HAT BACK ate the rabbit. AND I think it was justified. AND I think it was no big deal. I don't think eating something in a picture book is the same as killing it off. I think it is just a temporary swallowing thing to make a point. (And if you've read EXTRA YARN by Jon Klassen, you know that the rabbit is alive and well after the eating!) Through this #hatback experience, I realized that books in which the characters get eaten make me laugh. That is the point. No need to feel badly for the characters.
So, today's list is 10 of my favorite books in which a character gets eaten. And mostly things are okay. It is even actually funny. Eating characters is just a thing that happens in books sometimes. I am sharing it in hopes that this list will convince a few of you #teamrabbit members to join #teambear instead:-) We always welcome new members.
(I Want My Hat Back is clearly my #1 on this list!)
Arnie, the Doughnut by Laurie Keller is one of my favorite books in which the characters get eaten. Actually, Arnie does not get eaten but is shocked to find that many of his friends in the donut shop know they are going to be eaten and are OK with that! They are happy to be donuts that will be eaten an enjoyed by someone.
Beware of the Frog by William Bee. There is some eating in this book because the Mrs. Collywobble's guard frog eats anything that causes danger to the old lady. How can a guard frog that eats giants not be funny? If anything tries to get into the house, the frog just eats him up. There is some other eating going on in the book but all of it is justified, and quite amusing.
And there are so many versions There Was an Old Lady (Classic Books With Holes) in which the things eaten are just fine at the end. Depending on the version you read, the lady at the end explodes or hiccups or something. It is then that we find out that everything she swallows is just fine!
I'm The Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry is a new favorite with our younger readers. This one is more reality-based, but still quite fun:-)
Let's not forget Little Red Riding Hood: By the Brothers Grimm in which the wolf eats Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother (and in some versions, he also eats Little Red Riding Hood). But the woodsman frees them both with one swing of his ax:-)
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue by Maurice Sendak is possibly my absolute favorite book in which people get eaten. The book is only a favorite when the words are sung by Carol King.
Do you see how no-big-dealish eating Pierre was? How he actually emerged a better person? How the lion actually HELPED him by eating him? (just as I am sure the rabbit emerged better after being eaten by the bear....)
If you remember, there is some eating going on in Pinocchio (Little Golden Book) ">. When Gepetto goes off to find Pinocchio, he is eaten by a whale. Later, when Pinocchio goes off to find Gepetto, he too is eaten and the two are reunited in the whale's stomach. They are quite clever in making the whale sneeze so they can escape and live happily ever after.
I remember reading The Fat Cat: A Danish Folktale by Jack Kent when I was little. I loved this book and the way that the cat grew and grew. This one is a classic and the illustrations make it pretty amusing. This cat goes around eating everyone. He is just really hungry. But not to worry, someone releases them and after a few large bandages for the cat, it seems that everyone is okay after the ordeal.
Bear Despair (Stories Without Words) by Gaeten Doremus (isn't that the best title ever?). It is a wordless book (even more to love about it) and I am excited about adding it to my collection of wordless books. This is the story of a bear whose teddy bear is stolen. And the bear has to get it back--so there is some eating going on. The illustrations in this one are great and I am sure kids will love it.
(And I am not saying whether there is any eating going on or not , but Jon Klassen has a new picture book coming soon called This Is Not My Hat . Really, how can it not be great???)