I don’t remember how old I was when I cooked my first meal. I was definitely shorter than the kitchen counter, but trustworthy enough to handle a butter knife. I started off with the classic peanut butter and jam (heavy on the peanut butter) and when I finally was tall enough to reach the stove, I moved on to instant noodles. Learning to feed yourself is a major lesson in independence. Keep reading…
With minimal text, Jeremy Tankard, the author and illustrator of Me Hungry!, tells a story set in prehistoric times about busy parents and a boy’s lesson in independence as he goes searching for his own dinner. On his hunt, the animals remind Edwin of his place in the food chain (it’s a very vegetarian friendly book) and a thing or two about friendship. With ever-increasing numbers of overworked parents in this country, I think lots of young readers will relate to Edwin’s increase in responsibility and independence.
The sparse text is written in typical caveman speak. It’s fun to read out loud and inspires role-play, where you can add your own additional caveman grunts and animal sounds.
With bold thick black ink strokes and vibrant colours that were digitally added, Tankard’s illustrations are primitive looking, almost like cave drawings – a perfect complement to a prehistoric setting.
Me Hungry!, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author and Illustrator Jeremy Tankard
As a child, Jeremy Tankard often entertained himself by creating little books. Growing up he was surrounded and inspired by the stories he heard; Tankard’s father was a wonderful storyteller and his mother was a librarian. He was born in Cape Town, South Africa, but Tankard’s family moved around a lot; eventually, he settled in Toronto, Canada to raise his own family. Before embarking on a career as an author and illustrator of children’s books, Tankard worked as a graphic designer and typesetter upon graduating from the Alberta College of Art and Design.
I am always tickled pink when an author or an illustrator, takes time out of their busy schedule to reply to a fan mail.
“I’ve been drawing my whole life. I love drawing. Drawing fills me with a very pure sense of joy and wonder. You know how some people love reading because it transports them to another place? Well, I’m like that when I’m drawing. The funny thing is, after a lifetime of making pictures I still learned a ridiculous amount about how pictures work while working on Me Hungry. I don’t have a big enough ego to believe that I know everything about art-making, but I like to think I know a few things. Me Hungry taught me that, in fact, I’ve still got a LOT to learn. And you know what? That fills me with joy. I love learning new things. In the pages of Me Hungry I learned a lot about Character and acting, body language and emotion. I learned that my strengths weren’t at all what I thought they were (richly detailed and textured images and background painting). That my true strength lay in character. If I removed everything else in the image and was left with only the character on the page the work still looked like mine. In fact it felt more “mine” than anything else I’d drawn in years. And that’s kind of neat.”
– Jeremy Tankard –
To find out more about Jeremy Tankard, please visit his website:www.jeremytankard.com
Publisher Candlewick (April 22, 2008)