Eat Your People! Just what do children taste like?

posted in: David Wojtowycz, Lou Kuenzler | 6

I’m glad there are parents on this planet who’ve got children who will eat octopus and anchovies and olives. I can only bow down in awe of them for my kids are the sort whose culinary world is very much smaller. I’ve done hours of cajoling. We’ve tried the grow-it-home-with-the-kids-and-then-they’ll-try-it technique. But I’ve got to face facts: I’m the parent to fussy eaters.

eatyourpeoplecover300pxSo books about this familiar family plight always pique my interest and in Eat Your People! written by Lou Kuenzler (@LouKuenzler) and illustrated by David Wojtowycz (@elephantjoe), there’s oh-so-much that rings true.

– The attempts at patient encouragement.
– The threat of no pudding till the plate is empty.
– The snapping when food is played with.
– The drama that ensues when a child finally makes a big thing of trying a smidgen only to pull the world’s most disgusted face and spit out a slimy saliva-covered half-chewed mouthful…

Sound familiar to you too?

Recognition of ourselves in books builds bonds and understanding. It’s comforting and emboldening, and often provides us with ways to solve our own problems – and all of these are reasons why we’ve fallen in love with this hilarious story about the battle to try to get one child to eat what’s on their plates.

But there’s much more to this hilarious, joyous tale for it’s actually not about eating vegetables but rather… eating PEOPLE!

Yes, in these pages we join an ogre-ish monster family as they sit down to dinner just like we might. But where the monsterlings have no problem eating vegetables, it’s hoovering up humans that is resisted.

And yet, ogres are meant to love eating little children aren’t they?! So just how will dinnertime end… and just what do crunchy kids taste like?

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This perfectly observed, laugh-out-loud story will delight parents as much as children, highlighting a recognizable problem with great humour. The slightly goofy monsters (who barely fit on the pages) are exuberantly drawn, as if with boldly coloured thick wax crayons; the illustrative style will seem as familiar to children as the story’s setting.

Original and superbly silly, this book gets a huge thumbs up from everyone at Playing by the Book, including the picky eaters!

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Determined to find a way to eat people ourselves (did I really just write that?!), we made veggie-people-kebabs for a barbecue.

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The kids used coctail sticks to hold veg in place…

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…and then the coals were lit…

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…and ‘people’ were roasted!

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Full disclosure: Whilst my picky eaters adored making the ‘people’, true to form they barely ate any of them. *Sigh*. But I enjoyed the kebabs and continue to live in hope that one day my kids will become more adventurous eaters.

Whilst we made our people to eat we listened to:

  • The Purple People Eater sung by Sheb Wooley
  • The Vegetable With Feet by Peter Fischman
  • Hot Barbecue by Brother Jack McDuff


  • Other activities which might work well alongside reading Eat Your People! include:

  • Sharing Fussy Freya by Katharine Quarmby and Piet Grobler. I wonder if you’ll torture your kids like I did mine, upon reading this fabulous picture book.
  • Wax resist painting – the monsters’ fur looks like it was created using the technique where you paint over wax crayons.
  • Making an an appropriate pudding to go with the book…

    people8

    But you’ll have to track down a copy of this highly entertaining tale to find out why. Go on! You know you want to!


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    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher, Orchard Books.

    6 Responses

    1. What a great post! Love, love, love your veggie-folk!
      Julie Rowan-Zoch recently posted..PPBF: Green Wilma

    2. Love this, will have to try this book. I’ve got a picky eater to.

    3. As author of a book for parents on overcoming fussy eating in children (Getting the Little Blighters to Eat, Bloomsbury), this amused me a lot! Very clever idea for a book.
      Claire Potter recently posted..Guest interview: “I learnt to drive when I was 11!”

    4. That looks like a fun book! And your ‘people’ look so fun, a shame they didn’t eat much but that sounds like my little ones!

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