I Will Not Eat You
Theodore looks out from within his cave with those huge glowing eyes and considers each creature that passes by his cave as a possible meal. But he's not hungry. Then something new approaches. A boy. Has Theodore found a new favorite food? Or something more?
You know you want to know what's in that cave.
Is it a bear? A troll? Maybe those eyes in the cave belong to a picture book illustrator. See? You want to find out. What we do know is that Theodore looks out from within his cave and considers each creature that passes by as a possible meal. But he's not hungry. Then something new approaches. A boy. Has Theodore found a new favorite food? Or something more? Brilliant Adam Lehrhaupt's (Warning: Do Not Open this Book) suspenseful tale is full of humor and heart sure to keep you guessing to the very end.
This book is the result of a year-long team effort of which I am so proud. I drew for Paula Wiseman's phenomenal crew at Simon & Schuster. Editor Sylvie Frank, art director Chloe Foglia, author Adam Lehrhaupt and I shared a strong collaborative spirit as we refined text and art over many months. From there, Chloe and the production team went on to make the book even better by printing on a toothy matte stock, spot glossing the jacket and including separate artwork on the case. I think you'll find that I Will Not Eat You is a special book as a result. Your young readers will eat it up. Published by Paula Wiseman Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), I Will Not Eat You will also be available to read on iPad, Kindle and Nook apps and devices.
"Pretty awesome, Dadda." —My son Daniel, 9.
"Theodore, who lives in a cave, wants nothing more than quiet. He struggles to find any peace with all the loud creatures around. Trouble starts small as a noisy blue jay passes by. “Theodore thought, Does it want me to eat it?” He restrains himself (he isn’t hungry), and the bird flies off. He also spares a wolf and a tiger,but then a noisy boy in a knight costume gallops up on a stick horse and roars right at Theodore. “Seriously? thought Theodore. I should eat it.” The boy continues to antagonize Theodore—who, when he emerges from his cave, reveals himself to be a giant red dragon. The fearless boy sticks his toy sword up Theodore’s nose, and an angry chase begins. Before long, though, the two are falling down giggling, and a new and lively friendship begins. Smartly designed, the book features bold digital illustrations full of amusing characters and suspense. For much of the book, only Theodore’s eyes shine out of the cave’s darkness, but they convey everything readers need to know to catch the spirit of the story. As the well-paced, entertaining tale unfolds, the seasons quietly change in the background, and the endpapers show the meaningful transformation of the gray leafless area surrounding Theodore’s cave into a lush and colorful landscape—a metaphor for Theodore’s own blossoming through friendship. —Julie Roach, The Horn Book
"Magoon’s bold, angular, digitally rendered drawings capably juggle action, suspense, and comedy. . . .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. —Publisher's Weekly
"As Lehrhaupt spins this tale with deadpan humor, readers never fear for the boy. Magoon's exuberant art recalls classic characters, most particularly Max in his wolf suit. The digital illustrations emulate mixed-media images: some leaves resemble block prints, and short, thin, penlike highlights enliven the animals' fur. The text is hand-lettered. As the action escalates, Theodore becomes festooned with flowers that reflect the bright yellow glow of the flashlight's beam. The palette, though dark, is never menacing. Fanciful pretend play for the dragon-slaying preschooler. (Picture book. 3-6)" —Kirkus
"The full-bleed illustrations are saturated with rich, dark colors but manage never to be scary. With several humorous twists, lots of imaginative play, and illustrations reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s in Where the Wild Things Are, this is a surefire read-aloud hit. VERDICT Highly recommended for storytime and one-on-one sharing. —School Library Journal
"There’s a slightly sinister feel: the illustrations are done in muted browns, and the subtle threat that a creature or two might be devoured looms throughout. Of course, it’s all dispelled when Theodore finally emerges, looking more goofy than menacing. The dark color palette and mischievous nature of the text are reminiscent of Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back (2011)—albeit with a different final outcome." —Booklist
- Minnesota Youth Reading Award Star of the North Book Award Nominee.
- On the Texas Library Association's 2x2 Reading List.
- One of the Boston Public Library's Top 9 Favorite Picture Books of 2016!
- I WILL NOT EAT YOU won an Undie award for the case cover art.
- LIbrarian's Quest blog faves the cave with her in-depth and thoughtful review of I Will Not Eat You.
- Author and Blogger Kim Chaffee found 5 Fabulous Things about I Will Not Eat You and detailed them on her blog.
- Books4YourKids.com raves about the cave in her review—"a joy to read aloud over and over."
- Blogger The Book Wrangler writes in her review that instead of candy for Halloween, maybe indulge in I WILL NOT EAT YOU.
- Here's an interview with me and author Adam Lehrhaupt by librarian and blogger Dylan Teut.
- Max from Scholastic Kids Press Corps also interviewed me. Man, I wasn't sure what to expect from this intrepid reporter . . . but I think I did ok. Check it out here.
On Social Media
We had so much fun this week predicting the identity of Theodor in I Will Not Eat You. Next week we're sharing The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. pic.twitter.com/6Ok7E0we44— Keeble EC/PK Library (@keeblelibrary) October 22, 2016
Seasons Eatings! I'm signing off from here in the studio until January—I hope you all have a very happy holiday season. For my part, I'll be raising a glass to you one and all for your support this year, my first year as a full time freelancer. Thank you—I really appreciate it. Here's to you and a happy and healthy 2017! Cheers! 🍻 #favethecave #happyholidays #dragons
My homemade promo. Appears on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Every cave has a story. This one (seen with my fellow caver) has its own Native American lore as well as a legend about Nathaniel Hawthorne who spent some of his younger years in the area. Story is that he would visit the cave and even wrote the first chapters of the Scarlet Letter in there—ah, the lengths authors will go for a little privacy! Legends or no, this much is true: like this post and you have a chance of winning a signed copy of I WILL NOT EAT YOU, my new book with @lehrhaupt @simonkids @sfrank0411 #favethecave #kidlit #caves Thanks, everyone!
On the Road
Behind the Scenes
Here are some development sketches I created while working on I Will Not Eat You. Click on the thumbnails to expand and read more about each.