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PBs where the MC gets eaten

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Tea Drinker Extraordinaire
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Can anyone point me in the direction of PBs where the MC gets eaten at the end? I know of NOT NOW, BERNARD by David McKee but can't think of any others off the top of my head.

Also, what do you think of this device in general? I think it may just be the perfect ending to one of my humorous WIPs (drat, just spoilt it for you ;-) but am a little concerned about how it may be received by a child.

 :thankyou

Lynda
#1 - October 30, 2012, 04:15 AM

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Princess Justina Albertina by Ellen Dee Davidson ends that way.  It's hilarious!
#2 - October 30, 2012, 04:36 AM
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Um, how about THE GINGERBREAD MAN? Doesn't a fox get him? There've been several PB editions through the years. 
#3 - October 30, 2012, 04:43 AM

I was going to say Gingerbread Man, too, only I can't remember if he was eaten or not.  I know I REALLY WANTED HIM TO BE!

Not a PB, but in the story "Ladies First!" (from Free To Be, You and Me), the horrible girl gets eaten by bears or crocodiles or something. 

Pierre of "I Don't Care!" fame (Sendak) gets eaten by a lion, but I think they get him back.

And of course Red Riding Hood is eaten by the wolf in most versions, then rescued by a random ax-wielding man.  Typical.

I think this could be a funny thing if your story is obviously a quirky, dark-ish story, a fairy tale type story, or a "cautionary" fable (like Ladies First or Pierre) but in a more standard PB without the same style of humor, it might be seen as too scary or too random (or a cheap way for the author to end the story).  I recall in high school ending a story I was forced to write about a character I didn't like by making that character randomly get hit by a bus.  The end.

So the answer to this, like all things, is probably "It depends."
#4 - October 30, 2012, 05:21 AM

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Kara LaReau's UGLY FISH has this ending.
#5 - October 30, 2012, 05:37 AM

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I was going to say Gingerbread Man, too, only I can't remember if he was eaten or not.  I know I REALLY WANTED HIM TO BE!

Not a PB, but in the story "Ladies First!" (from Free To Be, You and Me), the horrible girl gets eaten by bears or crocodiles or something. 

Pierre of "I Don't Care!" fame (Sendak) gets eaten by a lion, but I think they get him back.

And of course Red Riding Hood is eaten by the wolf in most versions, then rescued by a random ax-wielding man.  Typical.



Doesn't the grandma get eaten? Or did I read a different version to everyone else?

In William Bee's Beware of the Frog the frog gets eaten. It's a hilarious book but I read one review that suggested some children might be a little shocked. I can't imagine they would be but I guess it depends on the child's sense of humor and sensitivity.

Does Jonah and the whale count?! There's Fidgety Fish where he gets eaten but is spat out eventually.
#6 - October 30, 2012, 05:41 AM

Grandma gets eaten, too, but the poster asked about MCs.
#7 - October 30, 2012, 06:06 AM

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In The Fat Cat by Jack Kent the cat eats almost all the other characters. I loved that book when I was a kid. I don't remember being disturbed by it at all. I felt a little bad for the cat at the end when he's apparently chopped open to let everyone out, but if I remember correctly, the last page had him happy and bandaged, so I guess it was ok.
#8 - October 30, 2012, 06:16 AM

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In The Fat Cat by Jack Kent the cat eats almost all the other characters. I loved that book when I was a kid. I don't remember being disturbed by it at all. I felt a little bad for the cat at the end when he's apparently chopped open to let everyone out, but if I remember correctly, the last page had him happy and bandaged, so I guess it was ok.

Love that book! And yes, the cat gets bandaged in the last picture.

This also made me think of Shel Silverstein's poem that begins, "I am being eaten by a boa constrictor." I can't remember what happens in the end.
#9 - October 30, 2012, 06:55 AM

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Wow, thanks for the excellent (and very fast) replies!

I can't believe I forgot the Gingerbead Man and LRRH, but most of the others are new to me. I've now got a long list to study! 

Yes, I'm particularly interested in MCs that are eaten, especially ones that don't deserve it (if indeed, anyone does deserve to get eaten!) and that the reader/listener sympathises with. My story is definitely quirky and sets out from the beginning as a comedy with cartoonish/non-realistic action, so hopefully this ending will fit right in. I'll be asking for critiques soon  :)

Endings are a real sticking point for me, but this morning I was reading an old thread on here about endings and I think it was Betsy who said to "challenge expectations". That has really helped with all my WIPs. :)
#10 - October 30, 2012, 07:06 AM

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THIS IS NOT MY HAT and I WANT MY HAT BACK (both by Jon Klassen) end with an MC getting eaten. I WANT MY HAT BACK received the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. However, I think the responses to it have varied widely. Some find it hilarious, others think it promotes lying, violence and retaliation.  From what I've seen kids primarily fall into the first camp, adults into the second.

#11 - October 30, 2012, 09:07 AM
GRAVE IMAGES, Scholastic Press 2013
FOREMAN FARLEY, Grosset & Dunlap 2014

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Dang. I picked up an adorable book for one of my great grandsons at a yard sale where the main character is a frog. He eats a dragonfly and all kinds of bugs throughout the story, then at the end just as he is about to eat a beautiful butterfly, SLURP! He gets eaten by a fish. It's really cute. I can NOT for the life of me remember the name of it, though.
 
#12 - October 30, 2012, 09:40 AM
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This also made me think of Shel Silverstein's poem that begins, "I am being eaten by a boa constrictor." I can't remember what happens in the end.

...which in turn reminds me of Shel Silverstein's poem Hungry Mungry, in which Mungry eats, well, *everything*.
#13 - October 30, 2012, 09:54 AM

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I don't see why it should be upsetting to kids ... they see the food chain.
One of my friends wrote a really cute ms about a vegetable and in the end, it is eaten. It is not published yet, but then whatever do we grow vegetables for?

Vijaya
#14 - October 30, 2012, 10:38 AM
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GOOD LITTLE WOLF by Nadia Shireen.  The Big Bad Wolf tries to convince Good Little Wolf to turn bad and eat his best friend, a sweet old lady.  You *think* good wolf and old lady have taught bad wolf a lesson, until at the end of the book... you realize bad wolf tricked them and ate them!
#15 - October 30, 2012, 10:54 AM

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I know of NOT NOW, BERNARD by David McKee but can't think of any others off the top of my head.

ha- David McKee likes to kill off his innocent little MCs!  He also wrote The Sad Story of Veronica Who Played the Violin.  MC is about to make the world happy place with her amazing music when she is suddenly eaten by a deaf lion.



#16 - October 30, 2012, 11:14 AM

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I was just about to respond with "I Want My Hat Back" but someone beat me to it. My boys think it's hilarious. I probably fall on the "slightly bothered" side, but oh well!

This is the opposite situation but remember "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". I remember laughing and being slightly disturbed at the refrain "I guess she'll die," after she eats every animal. . . and then becoming a parent and thinking I'd never read that to my kids. . . . .but most kids seem to find that all humorous I think.
#17 - October 30, 2012, 04:15 PM

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I'M THE BIGGEST THING IN THE OCEAN by Kevin Sherry.  And the eaten MC has the final word.  (And it is hilarious!)  :)
#18 - October 30, 2012, 06:20 PM
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LOL, there are now 15 books on my list - I had no idea getting eaten was such a common malady! Thank you all for your suggestions.

Vijaya, you're right of course, children aren't stupid and see the food chain. And of course fiction is a good way to expose children to scary or challenging situations.
#19 - October 31, 2012, 01:45 AM

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This is the opposite situation but remember "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". I remember laughing and being slightly disturbed at the refrain "I guess she'll die," after she eats every animal. . . and then becoming a parent and thinking I'd never read that to my kids. . . . .but most kids seem to find that all humorous I think.

My husband was horrified by the ending of this story (I've got the original 70s version from when I was a kid). My daughter took it in her stride and she's extremely sensitive. I actually think she'd have found it more upsetting if she'd thought the animals had died by being eaten but it's clear from the pictures that the animals are very much alive inside her!

Very strange book really but I totally love it. And if you wanted to read into it, it does have a very good lesson about overeating?!?!
#20 - October 31, 2012, 07:11 AM

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Tadpole's Promise
#21 - October 31, 2012, 07:27 AM
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I'm loving this thread ... Many parents were horrified at the jokes we made about eating our plump children. But they were soooo edible. Elbows, ears, toes, cheeks. My kids would love these books, even though they are middle-schoolers ...

Vijaya
#22 - October 31, 2012, 07:38 AM
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What about Pierre, A Cautionary Tale by Maurice Sendak?!
#23 - October 31, 2012, 07:25 PM
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Doesn't Adam Rex get (temporarily) eaten in CHLOE AND THE LION? I think he's spit back out again...
#24 - November 01, 2012, 05:04 PM
BACKHOE JOE, HarperCollins, 2014
FAMOUSLY PHOEBE, Sterling, 2017
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Tadpole's Promise, Pierre and Chloe and the Lion added to the list. Thank you!

Should be visiting the library on Tuesday so will dig around to see which of these they have!
#25 - November 02, 2012, 02:21 PM

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