Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Incredible Book Eating Boy

The Incredible Book Eating Boy

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Oliver Jeffers

Henry discovers his unusual taste by mistake one day, and is soon swept up in his new-found passion – gorging on every delicious book in sight! And better still, he realises that the more books he eats, the smarter he gets. Henry dreams of becoming the Incredible Book Eating Boy; the smartest boy in the world! But a book-eating diet isn’t the healthiest of habits, as Henry soon finds out…

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Plan and write a new story about a boy or girl who eats things that people don’t normally like to eat!
  • Plan and write a story about another ‘Incredible’ person who does something a little out of the ordinary.
  • Work with a friend to make a list of all the different types of books that are available to us. Who writes them? Why do people use them? Where can we get copies of them? Could you make a gallery of different types of books?
  • Write a review of your favourite book.
  • Imagine that you could eat a book about your favourite topic. Write a description of how it tastes.
  • Henry starts by eating a single word and then a whole sentence. If you could eat any word / sentence, what would it be?
  • Look at the backgrounds in the illustrations. What types of books might they have come from?
  • What vocabulary could you use to describe how a book tastes?
  • Rewrite the story from the point of view of Henry’s parents. How do they feel about him eating lots of books?
  • Imagine that you went to see a show called ‘The Incredible Book Eating Boy’. Write a review of what you saw.
  • One of the books that Henry eats is called ‘Rodney’s Great Adventure and other Chicken Stories’. Could you write about the adventure or one of the other stories?
  • Try to solve a crossword like Henry does in the story.
  • Henry becomes even smarter than his teacher. Imagine that you were smarter than your teacher. What would you teach them?
  • Henry dreams that a book is going to eat him. Write a story about this!
  • Could you perform the story to an audience using real people or puppets?


  • Create a survey to find out people’s favourite books. Could you ask your friends / teachers / families?
  • Use Venn and Carroll diagrams to sort books (e.g. fiction / non-fiction, mystery / romance / comedy).
  • Make a list of some of the books that Henry might have eaten. How much might they have cost? What is the total amount that Henry owes?


  • Plan a meal of healthy food that the boy could eat instead of books.
  • Write a letter to Henry teaching him about the importance of a balanced diet.
  • Investigate how the digestive system works.
  • Write a page from the book that Henry ate teaching him how to look after his goldfish, Ginger.


  • Use a graphics program to design book covers for a delicious book and a disgusting book.
  • Look at the different types of font shown in the book. Use a word processing program to copy and paste the same sentence and change the font in each copy. Which font is your favourite? Why? Do the fonts make each sentence look serious / funny / cute?
  • Make a branching database to help sort different books.
  • Watch this animations based on the story. Could you make your own animated version?

Design Technology

  • Create a new page for the pop-up version of the book.
  • Could you make some puppets based on the characters and use them to perform. Look at this example for some inspiration:


  • Henry likes eating red books. Use paint or another art material to mix different shades of red that Henry might like to have on his books.
  • Use different types of paper / old book pages / newspaper as the background for your own illustrations.


  • Look at the illustration which uses an atlas as the background picture. Where is the place in the picture? How far is it from where you live? What can you find out about it?


  • Look at the illustrations to find examples of other languages. What languages might they be written in? Can you find out how they are translated?
  • Can you find out what a single word (e.g. book) is translated to in lots of different languages.


  • Imagine that you are Henry near the start of the story when is starts getting very clever. How does this make him feel? How might his friends react?
  • How does Henry feel near the end when he doesn’t feel very smart any more? How does he feel now?

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