I'm Hungry!

I’m Hungry!

A review of I’m Hungry by Elise Gravel

Published on November 1, 2023

All around the world at any given moment (but most predictably when one has just set off on the day’s activities), “I’m hungry!” rings out from the mouths of children. This ravenous demand is met either by a snack that was packed with heroic foresight by the adult in charge or by the bark, “You’ll have to wait!” Suppers around the world shan’t be spoiled. 

I’m Hungry
Elise Gravel

Orca Books
$10.95
cloth
30pp
9781459838925

In Elise Gravel’s new book, I’m Hungry!, insatiable children meet their match. Here, one of Gravel’s signature monstres terribles tries in vain to fill their belly void with all manner of inedible items: the chairs and table, a mountain and, to the horror of this reader, the toilet and the trash can. Alas, they are still hungry.  

Gravel’s picture books and graphic novels, which are widely available in both French and English, are covetable for reasons I can’t wholly articulate (despite it being my task to do so). Perhaps it is the joy infused in the simple but attractive illustrations. Or perhaps it is the offbeat humour, so rare in children’s books. Arguably, it is the deft combination of these things, and a little je ne sais quoi.     

This is a book to read aloud to the youngest bookworms. My older kid, while proud that they could read it themselves, declared it boring until I performed a dramatic recital for them and their younger sibling. The simple plot’s interactive climax was met with copious giggles. Then they asked me to read it again and again – and again. You have been warned.mRb

Meaghan Thurston is a Montreal-based arts and science writer, co-editor of the anthology With the World to Choose From: Seven Decades of the Beatty Lecture at McGill University, and mother to two budding readers.

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