Review by Booklist Review
Oh, dear. Jim awakens to find that he is now a hungry lion, who's uninterested in the pancakes his mother is making, but who's very interested in gobbling up his mother. (""She was delicious."") Though Jim feels bad, he's still hungry, so look out, people in his way. Jim has an ongoing argument with his stomach about the rudeness of just devouring people, but his hunger pangs win. Things take a turn when Jim meets a bear who declares he will be the eater. Alas, the bear, too, gets eaten, but, as Jim learns, you can't eat a bear and still be hungry. In fact, as he heads home, he disgorges all whom he's gorged, but, as Jim finds himself becoming a boy again, he's going to have do something about the bear in his bedroom. This is a one-joke story, albeit a pretty funny one. The art sidesteps the actual devouring, which is a plus for the faint of heart/stomach but probably loses some laughs. Use this at story hour and expect giggles, shrieks, and groans.--Ilene Cooper Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In this clever tribute to Maurice Sendak, Snyder and Groenink gleefully subvert picture book norms by embracing the beastliest behavior. Jim wakes up one Tuesday as a lion--and a hungry one at that. His growly stomach underscores a growly mood: "He wanted to eat anything. He wanted to eat everything. He wanted to cry." In fairy tale fashion, Jim devours his mother (but not her pancakes), a butcher (but not his meats), and several other townspeople in a conflicted rampage. Perfectly matched prose and pictures ring with deadpan humor--Groenink's expressive pencil drawings reveal the extent of Jim's feeding frenzy as Snyder playfully hints that Jim "met" people along his way. As his ferocity grows, warmly lit illustrations shift into stormy tones, matching the lion's feelings. After encountering a bigger, meaner foe, he returns home "to find things mostly as he left them," and a transformation takes place that leaves him hungry ("for pancakes") and, at least for the moment, contented. Snyder and Groenink's audacious allegory acknowledges Sendak's attention to children's turbulent inner worlds and mighty capacity for imagination, and empowers readers to face their own difficult days. Ages 3--5. Author's agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. Illustrator's agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.)
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Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-K--Young Jim wakes up one morning supremely hungry. He is also feeling beastly. He wanders downstairs, only to eat his mother. Conflicted, he flees the house, running through town, gobbling nearly everyone he encounters. His stomach continues to growl, but Jim feels sad and ashamed. Finally, contemplating his next move in the woods, Jim is confronted by a bear that he quickly gobbles up. Now satiated, Jim makes the journey home, and along the way, things begin to return to their normal, more pleasant, state. Part Kafkaesque tale and part homage to Maurice Sendak, as noted in the dedication, this book is a pure delight. The text is straightforward, with simple sentences and boldface words for emphasis, making it very accessible to young readers. Jim's internal struggle with his stomach, with the hyperbole of being hungry enough to eat a bear, is comical and whimsical, while also extremely relatable. The dialogue is cheeky and funny, as the bear tells Jim he must eat him because, well, he's a bear. Groenink's illustrations are stunning, reminiscent of Sendak with a touch more lightness. VERDICT A definite celebration of his style and not an outright copy, this is a must-have for fans of Sendak who adore tales of wildness; sure to have readers young and old giggling with joy.--Kaitlin Malixi, Kensington Health Sciences Academy, Philadelphia
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Review by Horn Book Review
Author and illustrator dedicate this book to the memory of Maurice Sendak, who surely would have appreciated its gleefully anarchic celebration of cannibalism (and the illustrators small homages to the master placed throughout). Little Jim finds himself turned overnight into a lion. When his mother calls him down for breakfast, Jims stomach begins to growl: She sounded DELICIOUS. After devouring her (an act implied rather than pictured), Jim goes out for a second breakfast (a dog and a dog walker) and a third and a fourth. He tries to outrun his urges, only to encounter something as hungry as himself: a bear. But success in that battle leaves Jim stuffed, and back home he goes, regurgitating his victims (whole, thankfully) as he returns and, finally, is hungry once morefor pancakes. The link between Jims hunger and his psyche is underbaked, but his glorious gustatory rampage is a lot of fun. With their warm brown tones and cozy lines, Groeninks pencil and Photoshop illustrations provide a witty counterpoint to the text, and the pictures, framed la Where the Wild Things Are, are large and well composed, which, combined with the brisk writing, promises a storytime treat. If you dare. Roger Sutton January/February 2020 p.80(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
When Jim wakes up as a lion with a "beastly" appetite, it takes him a while to learn impulse control.Rightly and properly dedicated to Maurice Sendak, the tale takes Jimwaking at his mother's invitation to pancakes and thinking that "she sound[s] delicious"on a rampage that has him gobbling down his parent ("She was delicious") and everyone he meets. Even as he does this, however, he feels worse and worse about it and finally remorsefully coughs his victims back up one by one, becoming a boy again hungry only for pancakes (plus perhaps a large bear for an appetizer). Enhanced by familiar lighting, angles, and stagey perspectives, Groenink's illustrations have a similarly psycho-Sendakian cast, centering on a magnificently leonine protagonist with lightly anthropomorphized features who bounds down a street of antique, neatly drawn shops and into a gloomy forest. He discreetly does his chowing down (aside from the occasional glimpse of ankle or empty shoe) and urping up out of sight (except for one delighted child who emerges, smiling, on the sidewalk following a "braap"). Upon returning to his bedroom, Jim is transformed into a small but jaunty white lad in pajamas. Aside from the bear, his similarly light-skinned provender ends up sprawled on the ground, disheveled and astonished but unharmed.A reassuring promise that it's OK to be beastly: The pancakes will still be there, and they'll be hot. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.