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I'd Really Like to Eat a Child (Picture Book) Hardcover – April 24, 2007

126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Oh, growing up is so hard! There's so much you want and so much you can't do yet. Little Achilles is a crocodile who decides one morning that he's grown beyond his diet of bananas. "Today, I’d really like to eat a child," he tells his mother. She reasons with him: "What an idea!...Well, children don't grow on banana trees, only bananas do, and that's what I have for breakfast!" But Achilles won't be swayed, not even by sausage or cake. And when he happens upon a girl child by the river, it looks like his culinary dream might come true...

French author-illustrator team Sylviane Donnio and Dorothee de Monfreid have perfectly captured the hubris of childhood in this droll story. Young Achilles is so darn cute, and so sure of himself, readers will fall instantly in love. And the encounter with the girl at the river bank is priceless. --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K—Picky Achilles, a small crocodile, refuses to eat his bananas for breakfast and matter-of-factly explains that he'd rather eat a child. Despite the delicious chocolate cake his parents make to whet his appetite, Achilles is insistent. As he walks down to the river, he notices an opportunity—a young girl sitting on the riverbank. Droll humor saves the day as Achilles meets his match. Sunny cartoon illustrations capture the setting with grass huts and tropical trees in the background. The yellow endpapers with silhouetted bananas add additional flavor. Rereading will be a delight.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Picture Book
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375837612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375837616
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Herold on April 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There is something so refreshingly honest and upfront about Sylviane Donnio's "I'd Really Like to Eat a Child." Just the title alone tells you that this story is not another P.C. animal tale in which polar bears and babies snuggle together on a cold night. Nope, "I'd Really Like to Eat a Child" gives it to you straight.

Achilles the crocodile lives on a banana diet enforced by his Mama (and, possibly, P.C. animal stories everywhere). One morning Mama is worried when Achilles won't eat his banana for breakfast. When Achilles announces--as well he should--that he wants a child to eat, Mama answers, "What an idea, my little Achilles!...Children don't grown on banana trees, only bananas do and that's what I have for breakfast."

Dad tries to remedy the situation with a sausage brought back from the village. Achilles insists a child should be on the menu. Dad exclaims, "Come now, Achilles. There's no such thing as a sausage made from children!" (Okay, call me sick, but that's pretty funny. My kids thought it was a hoot too.)

Many foodish attempts are made until Achilles encounters a lovely little girl playing on a river bank. Achilles approaches slowly...until...the girl cries, "Oh! Look at that...A teeny-tiny crocodile! He's awfully cute!" Poor Achilles. His hopes dashed, he runs home so he can eat as many bananas as possible. I'll let you guess why.

Sylviane Donnio's concept is great here--this book has the dark humor any three- to eight-year-old will appreciate. Dorothée de Monfreid's cartoon-like illustrations are a perfect match as well. How she makes a teeny tiny crocodile's expressions exactly mirror those of a recalcitrant toddler I'll never know.

"I'd Really Like to Eat a Child" is highly recommended fun for adults and children who like a touch of the macabre with their humor. Don't worry--no children were harmed in the making of this book.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By AllNightReader on June 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a librarian and saw this book at a publisher's book fair. The title grabbed me instantly as hilarious. I have a three year old nephew so ordered the book for his birthday. When it arrived I sat right down and read it. The story is just as cute as the title; about little Achilles the crocodile who had a steady diet of bananas from his Mom but really wants to eat a child. After pursuing this ambition and meeting a possible child to consume Achilles realizes his mistake and happily goes back to Mom and his regular diet. It's a simple yarn for a child up to about the age of six. The pictures are delightful; colorful and well drawn. I think I'll order it for myself. My nephew has certainly enjoyed his copy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Young Mensan BookParade on April 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
"I'd Really Like to Eat a Child" is a fantastic book about Achilles (a little crocodile) who refuses to eat anything because he wants to eat a child. His Mama and Papa try getting some new foods for him but he refuses to eat those, too. He is being totally stubborn. Then he finds a little girl and wants to eat her. Achilles tries to roar but the girl just thinks he's cute. He goes home and eats bananas. But he does NOT give up on his silly idea to eat a child.

I think kids would enjoy this book because it's funny. Even the pictures are funny. I loved the part where the little girl tickled Achilles and then threw him in the river. That was hilarious. I give this book 5 stars because it is humorous and made me laugh. I keep reading it over and over again. I would give it 10 stars if I could.

Review by Connor C., age 6, Boston Mensa
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. Anomie on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I collect unusual, strange and inappropriate children's books. From my perspective this book is okay. It is charming, with no real objectionable content. Unlike many of the other books in my collection, I would actually read this to a child.

If you're expecting more of a gag gift or want a children's book with more of a point or moral to it, give this one a pass. Otherwise it's a fine, harmless little thing that has a funny cover that will draw a giggle.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A cute, hilarious, innocent book about a little crocodile named Achilles who decides he wants to hunt down little children, even though his parents keep telling him to eat bananas for breakfast if he wants to grown big and strong. Achilles is a very loveable character, and the punchline to the story is lots of fun. If you enjoyed this one, you might also want to check out Mo Willems' "Leonardo The Terrible Monster," which has a similar plot and an equally adorable hero. (ReadThatAgain!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FIRR-Kids! on September 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Achilles may be just a small crocodile, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in stubbornness. Every morning for breakfast, his mama brings him tasty bananas plucked fresh from the trees. But on this morning, Achilles refuses to eat. He has already made up his mind that today, he would really like to eat a child. His mama would happily indulge her little gator, but children don't grow on trees. Bananas do, and that's what for breakfast.

Papa Crocodile runs to the village and come back with a plump sausage strapped to his back that is as long as his body, but Achilles won't budge. He wants to eat a child. Mama and Papa put their heads together and bake the most luscious chocolate cake. Apparently these are very adept crocodiles, because they also manage to frost and decorate that cake, as well as produce a sharp knife for slicing. Achilles is sorely tempted, but remains firm in his convictions.

Achilles stomps down to the river to do some pouting, but is surprised when he arrives. Sitting at the edge of the riverbank is a defenseless child! The little croc creeps up and bares his teeth in a most ferocious way. The child turns, picks him up by the tail, tickles his belly in a most insulting way and chucks him into the river. Instead of dwelling on the failure, Achilles hops out, runs to his parents and announces he needs to eat piles of bananas, so he can grow big enough ..... to eat a child.

This was just released in paperback, and typically only the good ones makes it to paperback. I love how Achilles parents try to distract him from the child meal with the other foods. Who would have thought that a couple of crocodiles could produce a fancy cake? Achilles definitely inherited their can-do attitude, refusing to give up his dream of eating a child.
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