Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Child Cruncher

The Child Cruncher

Mathilde Stein
Illustrator:  Mies van Hout 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Lemniscaat USA, 2008   ISBN: 978-1590786352

It is summertime, and a little girl is bored because there is no one to play with and nothing to do. Luckily a “big, ugly villain” comes along and kidnaps the little girl. Finally she is going to have a little excitement in her life. Of course, the little girl tells her dad that she is being kidnapped. Dad, who is working in his study, tells her to remember to brush her teeth and to “Have fun.”

The little girl has every intention on having fun. She and the villain have a wild ride on a horse through the forest until they get to the villain’s den. The villain is in a terrible mood and he goes to bed “without saying goodnight.” The little girl decides that she will try to cheer him up, and she gives his den a makeover while he is asleep. Instead of being pleased, the villain behaves very badly and he then explains that he intends on having the little girl for breakfast. The little girl is very peeved. Her adventure has not turned out as she had hoped and she is not going to accept being stuck with “an ordinary old child cruncher.” What a nuisance!

Children who suffer from bouts of I’m-bored-itis and there-is-nothing-to-do-itis will surely appreciate this clever and unique picture book. The will appreciate the little girl’s keen need to do something interesting (for a change), and will laugh out loud when they see how she deals with the child cruncher.