cover image I Will Not Eat You

I Will Not Eat You

Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. by Scott Magoon. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2933-7

As Theodore debates eating the noisy animals that pass by his cave, Magoon (Breathe) delivers laughs using nothing more than the creature’s eyes shifting left and right, all that readers can see of him. Theodore decides against eating the animals, but when a boy with a hobbyhorse and garbage lid shield roars in Theodore’s face, Theodore emerges, a hulking red dragon. The boy is undaunted. He shines his flashlight in Theodore’s eyes and pokes at his snout with his wooden sword. “That’s it!” Theodore snarls. “I will eat you!” Magoon’s bold, angular, digitally rendered drawings capably juggle action, suspense, and comedy. After boy and dragon dash through a patch of flowers and emerge with floral crowns, the boy bursts out laughing. “It’s hard to eat someone when you’re sharing a laugh,” Theodore realizes. By focusing on Theodore’s thoughts and perspective, Lehrhaupt (Chicken in Space) adds unexpected nuance to this David and Goliath story—it’s not clear who’s the aggressor and who’s the victim. What is clear is that size doesn’t matter and laughter trumps fear. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Alexandra Penfold, Upstart Crow Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)