Mathilde Stein & Mies van Hout - The Child Cruncher
"Gottcha!" hissed the fierce robber. "Off to my cave!"
"One moment please," Molly said. Then she shouted, "Papa, I am being kidnapped by a big ugly villain. Is that all right?"
"Oh, that's fine," Dad replied. "Have fun, but don't forget to brush your teeth."
One summer evening, Molly is so bored that she dreams up an adventure with a fierce villain. But being kidnapped is not as thrilling as Molly had hoped. Her big ugly villain turns out to be an ordinary child cruncher, not a fierce robber. What a disappointment! Instead of going on all sorts of adventures by horseback, he only wants to eat her up. Luckily Molly knows just what to do. Taking the situation into her own hands, she finds her way home to her father who is at home worrying about nothing as usual.
"The child radiates a smiling self-confidence in van Hout's cartoon art, which reflects the narrative's breezy tone, and the clumsy, blustering Bad Guy-endowed with both a ferocious scowl and a fuzzy plush bunny-comes across as far more comic than threatening. Even younger and more sensitive children will be left smiling by this droll, if brief, import."
"A wiry girl outwits a kidnapping ogre in this visually enticing story from the Netherlands. ... Full of fun."
"This protagonist exhibits self-confidence similar to Charlotte, who is featured in Stein's Mine! (2007), and the bubbling child cruncher is as nonthreatening as the monsters along the path in Stein's Brave Ben (2006, both Lemniscaat). The dynamic illustrations are consistent with van Hout's work in those titles. ... The style serves to reinforce the action in the story while allowing for plenty of details for careful readers to discover. The result is a far-fetched adventure that will have children cheering for their heroine."
-School Library Journal
"Children who suffer from bouts of I'm-bored-itis and there-is-nothing-to-do-itis will surely appreciate this clever and unique picture book. The will appreciate the little girl's keen need to do something interesting (for a change), and will laugh out loud when they see how she deals with the child cruncher."
-Through the Looking Glass