A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / Great Britain

This book just ate my dog!

Byrne, Richard (text/illus.)
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. – [32] p.
ISBN 978-0-19-273728-1

Disappearance – Book – Reading – Rescue – Metafiction – Picture book

Little Bella is out on a leisurely stroll with her big dog, when suddenly the pet disappears into the space between the two facing pages of the book. Baffled Bella is left standing on the right hand page holding its leash. Luckily enough, help is on its way – or so she thinks; but her friend Ben, as well as the dog rescue car, the fire brigade, and the police are also swallowed by the book’s gutter. And then Bella gets stuck in there, too. In this funny interactive story, author-illustrator Richard Byrne points out the materiality of the book, as he lets the naughty book itself become a central “character”. Readers are implored to step out of their passive role and become agents in the story to rescue the stuck protagonists. The short, succinct text and the cartoon-like digital illustrations in rich matt colours strike the perfect balance and make this a truly entertaining read for children, parents, and other picture book aficionados. (Age: 3+)