I Can't Believe It Ate the Whole Thing! This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne
BELLA WAS TAKING HER DOG FOR A STROLL ACROSS THE PAGE.
SOMETHING VERY ODD HAPPENED.
Indeed! The front end of Bella's enormous shaggy dog disappears right into the book's gutter. A surprised Bella is left holding a taut leash, watching his hindquarters also vanish.
Just then Her friend Ben comes along, with a "What's up?"
"THIS BOOK JUST ATE MY DOG!" BELLA SAYS.
Bravely, Ben plunges into the book's gutter and vanishes, too!
But help is on the way. The Dog Rescue Truck speeds in the breech and... disappears inside the book's greedy gutter, too, quickly followed by a police car, an EMR truck, and a firetruck.
Bella watches the first responders vanish one by one. This is ridiculous!
I'LL JUST HAVE TO SORT THIS OUT MYSELF," SAYS BELLA.
Bella heads into the gutter resolutely, and for a moment all is quiet. Then from inside, a note sails out of the book and lands on the sidewalk.
It would be lovely if you could kindly help us. PLEASE turn this Book on its side and SHAKE...
And with a page turn and a bookish BURP, the vanished Ben, rescue vehicles, and even Bella's dog are, er, re-issued from the book and rearrange themselves, with a few oddities, in front of Bella, in Richard Byrne's new tale, This book just ate my dog! (Henry Holt, 2014). Using some of the interactive techniques pioneered recently by Herve' Tullet's bestsellers, Press Here and Mix It Up! and even Mo Willems' We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book), in April Fool's Day style Byrne likewise does away with the "fourth wall" and invites the reader into the story, if not to be a visible character, to be a mover and and shaker in the plot! Byrne's illustrations of the primly turned-out Bella and her improbably humongous dog are drawn as deceptively conventional cartoon characters, but his story invites young readers right into story as invisible hands. Kids will find this a book they have to share immediately with someone else just to let them in on the joke.
Read this one with B. J. Novak's equally iconoclastic (biblioclastic?) best-seller, The Book with No Pictures for some mind-stretching experiences with just what can happen within the covers of the modern picture book when author decide to shake things up.