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Literature / The Boy Who Ate Around

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The Boy Who Ate Around is a children’s book written by Henrik Drescher in 1994.

When a young boy named Mo has to eat his dinner — a plate of lizard guts and bullfrog heads (actually string beans and cheese soufflé) — against his will, he decides to transform into a series of colossal, ever-expanding monsters and proceeds to greedily eat virtually everything while avoiding the string beans and cheese soufflé, including his parents and his friends, even math teachers, entire continents and eventually the world!

The Boy Who Ate Around provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Most of the animals in this book are shown in different colors, such as the purple polka-dotted pink dog shown at the beginning of the book.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Mo’s best friend Theo is this, since his race was never explicitly stated.
  • Art Shift: Whenever there are images of characters cut out from newspapers and magazines standing alongside characters who are hand drawn.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The monsters Mo turns into get bigger and bigger throughout the book.
  • Big Eater: Mo becomes this when he starts transforming into various monsters and starts eating everything (including buildings and people) in sight.
  • Blob Monster: The "humungous bug-eyed slime slusher" Mo transforms into after his "alligator chirper" form is this.
  • Eaten Alive: What Mo does to his town and eventually the world.
  • Gasshole: Mo starts farting when he transforms into a tyrannosaurus rat in space.
  • Grotesque Gallery: All the characters are drawn with noodle like limbs and gag noses while the artwork combines both hand drawn and cut out artwork to make the story more chaotic.
  • Karma Houdini: Even though Mo does eventually release the people trapped inside his stomach, he doesn’t get punished for eating up the whole world.
  • Noodle People: All of the characters are drawn with noodle-like limbs, with the possible exception of Mo and Theo, who are short and stout.
  • The Noun Who Verbed: The title.
  • Slasher Smile: Mo gives a small one at the end of the book when his parents eventually give him banana split ice cream after they banned string beans and cheese soufflé from the menu forever.
  • Toilet Humor: When Mo transforms into a gigantic fire-breathing tyrannosaurus rat, he starts farting while in space!