Hungry Jim

Hungry Jim
Laurel Snyder and Chuck Groenink
Chronicle Books

This is a tribute to Maurice Sendak with a delectably dry deadpan delivery by both author and artist.

When Jim wakes up one Tuesday morning he feels at odds with himself – beastly in fact –and definitely doesn’t feel like breakfasting on the pancakes his mother is busy downstairs cooking.

Instead he devours her, but still feeling hungry he leaves home and consumes everyone who crosses his path. There’s no getting away from it – the more he rampages, the more he wants to eat. He wants to cry too though.

Finally he can run no further. As he stands contemplating his conflicting emotions he hears a growl that isn’t emanating from his stomach. There before him stands a larger, even more ferocious looking creature …

but Jim’s ferocity grows too …

Hunger sated at last, he heads home, burping and ‘braap’-ing along the way,

and there ‘It was a huge relief to find things mostly as he’d left them.’

Back in his own room another transformation takes place and finally the only hunger he’s left with is ‘For pancakes’.

After all that beastliness, it’s breakfast in this case, not supper that is waiting, but of course, it IS still hot.

This deliciously wicked tale demonstrating the power of the imagination will make you uneasy, it will make you gasp, and it will make you aware of the hidden wildness that lies within. What young listeners will make of it, I’m yet to discover. They will however definitely appreciate Groenink’s masterful pencil and Photoshop illustrations that are the perfect complement for Laurel Snyder’s pithy prose.

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