Books That Inspire 2012

The Seven Silly Eaters
Mary Ann Hoberman

In the spirit of "Old Mother Hubbard," The Seven Silly Eaters presents the rambunctious Peters family, which, with seven young children, is about to burst the seams of its seaside abode. Each child is introduced as an infant, one by one, and the daily task of feeding the troupe becomes complicated by the fact that all seven have a favorite food-homemade, served to order, and in increasingly prodigious quantities-that they insist on eating to the exclusion of anything else. The house soon descends into chaos, and Mr. and Mrs. Peters reach the end of their rope, exhausted by their children's insatiable appetites. What follows is the sort of serendipitous reprieve from the daily grind that every parent hopes for.

For my wife and I, reading this book at bedtime to our three daughters-beginning when our oldest was four years old-has been a constant source of delight. Hoberman's rhyming couplets insist on being read out loud, and Marla Frazee's vibrant illustrations, full of humor, reveal some new detail each time you look at them. Our copy of the book, now dog-eared and falling apart at the binding, will always occupy a special place on our bookshelves.

Daniel Simon
Assistant Director & Editor-in-Chief
World Literature Today