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Don Gillmor , Pierre Pratt

The Boy Who Ate the World (and the Girl Who Saved It)

YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY: Canada

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Title of the work

The Boy Who Ate the World (and the Girl Who Saved It)

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Canada

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2008

First Edition Details

Don Gillmor, Pierre Pratt. The Boy Who Ate the World: and The Girl Who Saved It. Toronto: North Winds Press (Scholastic), 2008, 32 pp.

ISBN

9780439947381

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Picture books

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Miriam Riverlea, University of New England, mriverlea@gmail.com

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, Univerity of Yaounde, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Male portrait

Don Gillmor , b. 1958
(Author)

Don Gillmor is a Canadian novelist, picture book writer, journalist and historian. He grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, graduated in 1977 from the University of Calgary in 1997, with a Bachelor of Arts, and lives in Toronto with his wife and children. He has written several picture books, including The Time Time Stopped (2011), Sophie and the Sea Monster (2005), Yuck, A Love Story (2000), and three adult novels. His picture book The Christmas Orange (2002) was adapted into a movie of the same name (2003).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Male portrait

Pierre Pratt (Illustrator)

Pierre Pratt is a Montreal-based artist, illustrator and writer of children’s books. He studied graphic design at Ahuntsic College in Montreal. Since 1990 he has illustrated and written over 50 children’s books, and exhibited works in countries around the world. His illustrated works have won numerous awards in Canada.  


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Translation

French: Le garçon qui avala le monde: (et la petite fille qui le sauva) Toronto: Éditions Scholastic, 2008; trans. Louise Binette

Summary

This is picture book (illustrations composed in Acrylic) in which Herman Oof, a baby giant, eats all the available food, then turns his attention to cities, lands, and the entire world. ‘Scientists examined Herman and said, ‘If this keeps up, soon there won’t be anything left to eat in the whole world.’ (6) Having eaten all the food, and lost any companions, Herman is lonely. ‘He was too tall to talk to anyone.  He stared up at the sky and imagined that he was the moon and the stars were all his friends. And he was hungry.  Very hungry.’(10-11) He eats Africa and Greenland, and drinks the Atlantic Ocean. A girl named Sarah climbs up on him while he is sleeping and wakes him: ‘I hope you’re happy.’ (15). Herman says he is not happy. ‘I ate everyone’s dog,’ Herman said sadly. ‘I couldn’t stop myself. I was just so hungry.’ (17). ‘Herman was now the same shape as the earth, more or less. A huge, round thing with tiny legs and arms and a big moon face. Inside him, billions of people were wondering why it was so dark.’ Herman floats through space, like a planet. He tells Sarah that he is ‘stuffed,’ and if he ate another bite, he would burst. Sarah looks at Herman’s ‘giant unhappy moon face’ then jumps into his open mouth (22). Herman bursts, or at least disappears, and the world is restored, a little different than before. Reunited with her dog, Sarah ‘watched the moon come out, which looked like Herman’s face. It was smiling.’ (28)

Analysis

The Boy Who Ate the World is a loose rendition of the myth of Erysichthon, in which a boy giant (Herman Oof) ‘eats the entire world.’While the myth is not directly referenced, The Boy Who Ate the World connects with the idea of overeating, and indiscriminate eating, both of which appeal to young children. Sarah, the heroine, could parallel Demeter, whose implacability causes Erysichthon to self-destruct: her act of jumping into Herman’s open mouth is analogous to a number of heroic mercy-killings, though Herman’s transformation into the face of the moon offers a softer ending than the original. Pratt’s illustrations are bright and painterly, and the text sometimes wriggles along with Herman’s emotions. The book offers insight into the psychology of overeating and obesity, friendship and loneliness.  


Further Reading

Don Gillmor, Wikipedia entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Gillmor, accessed April 26, 2018

Don Gillmor, Website: www.dongillmor.ca/, accessed April 26, 2018

Pierre Pratt, Website: www.pierrepratt.com/2015/bio-en/, accessed April 26, 2018

Talieh Mirsalehi, ‘Pierre Pratt: Illustrator—Canada,’ Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, Vol 54, No. 2, 2016, p. 18.

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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

The Boy Who Ate the World (and the Girl Who Saved It)

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Canada

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2008

First Edition Details

Don Gillmor, Pierre Pratt. The Boy Who Ate the World: and The Girl Who Saved It. Toronto: North Winds Press (Scholastic), 2008, 32 pp.

ISBN

9780439947381

Genre

Fantasy fiction
Picture books

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Miriam Riverlea, University of New England, mriverlea@gmail.com

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, Univerity of Yaounde, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Male portrait

Don Gillmor (Author)

Don Gillmor is a Canadian novelist, picture book writer, journalist and historian. He grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, graduated in 1977 from the University of Calgary in 1997, with a Bachelor of Arts, and lives in Toronto with his wife and children. He has written several picture books, including The Time Time Stopped (2011), Sophie and the Sea Monster (2005), Yuck, A Love Story (2000), and three adult novels. His picture book The Christmas Orange (2002) was adapted into a movie of the same name (2003).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Male portrait

Pierre Pratt (Illustrator)

Pierre Pratt is a Montreal-based artist, illustrator and writer of children’s books. He studied graphic design at Ahuntsic College in Montreal. Since 1990 he has illustrated and written over 50 children’s books, and exhibited works in countries around the world. His illustrated works have won numerous awards in Canada.  


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Translation

French: Le garçon qui avala le monde: (et la petite fille qui le sauva) Toronto: Éditions Scholastic, 2008; trans. Louise Binette

Summary

This is picture book (illustrations composed in Acrylic) in which Herman Oof, a baby giant, eats all the available food, then turns his attention to cities, lands, and the entire world. ‘Scientists examined Herman and said, ‘If this keeps up, soon there won’t be anything left to eat in the whole world.’ (6) Having eaten all the food, and lost any companions, Herman is lonely. ‘He was too tall to talk to anyone.  He stared up at the sky and imagined that he was the moon and the stars were all his friends. And he was hungry.  Very hungry.’(10-11) He eats Africa and Greenland, and drinks the Atlantic Ocean. A girl named Sarah climbs up on him while he is sleeping and wakes him: ‘I hope you’re happy.’ (15). Herman says he is not happy. ‘I ate everyone’s dog,’ Herman said sadly. ‘I couldn’t stop myself. I was just so hungry.’ (17). ‘Herman was now the same shape as the earth, more or less. A huge, round thing with tiny legs and arms and a big moon face. Inside him, billions of people were wondering why it was so dark.’ Herman floats through space, like a planet. He tells Sarah that he is ‘stuffed,’ and if he ate another bite, he would burst. Sarah looks at Herman’s ‘giant unhappy moon face’ then jumps into his open mouth (22). Herman bursts, or at least disappears, and the world is restored, a little different than before. Reunited with her dog, Sarah ‘watched the moon come out, which looked like Herman’s face. It was smiling.’ (28)

Analysis

The Boy Who Ate the World is a loose rendition of the myth of Erysichthon, in which a boy giant (Herman Oof) ‘eats the entire world.’While the myth is not directly referenced, The Boy Who Ate the World connects with the idea of overeating, and indiscriminate eating, both of which appeal to young children. Sarah, the heroine, could parallel Demeter, whose implacability causes Erysichthon to self-destruct: her act of jumping into Herman’s open mouth is analogous to a number of heroic mercy-killings, though Herman’s transformation into the face of the moon offers a softer ending than the original. Pratt’s illustrations are bright and painterly, and the text sometimes wriggles along with Herman’s emotions. The book offers insight into the psychology of overeating and obesity, friendship and loneliness.  


Further Reading

Don Gillmor, Wikipedia entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Gillmor, accessed April 26, 2018

Don Gillmor, Website: www.dongillmor.ca/, accessed April 26, 2018

Pierre Pratt, Website: www.pierrepratt.com/2015/bio-en/, accessed April 26, 2018

Talieh Mirsalehi, ‘Pierre Pratt: Illustrator—Canada,’ Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, Vol 54, No. 2, 2016, p. 18.

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