There were two things that made me sure that I wanted to read Peter Pearson's debut picture book and they both appear in the title. I am certain that I would read any picture book with the words, "The Bad Idea Book Club" in the title, regardless of what comes next. And I feel certain that I would choose to read a book titled, "How to Eat and Airplane," even if it is not presented by the Bad Idea Book Club. Happily, these two intriguing, funny phrases appear in one place - The Bad Idea Book Club Presents: How to Eat and Airplane, fantastically illustrated by Mircea Catusanu. Pearson has written a book that is weird and clever and funny and fascinating and informative, which is quite a feat.
The Bad Idea Book Club Presents: How to Eat an Airplane is both a book of etiquette and party planing because, as you learn right from the start, "The truth is, most airplanes are too large to eat by yourself, so if you want to eat an airplane you should have a party. Invite guests." This makes perfect sense, and Pearson's tone of helpfulness throughout the book adds to the humor. Guests are greeted at the gate, where carry on bags are stowed somewhere far away from the meal so "they don't get eaten by mistake." Introductions are made, toasts are given, as are tips on how to handle a guest who arrives late. Naturally, you hand them a "glass of jet fuel as they recite the Tardiness Toast: To friends and clocks and paradox. I'm usually on time. Oops." I am tucking that one away for later use!
As the meal ends and the guests find themselves at "full capacity," the host should urge guests to pack a "suitcase full of leftovers to bring home." Even though everyone is surely stuffed, it is polite to offer desert and the final illustrations show an ince cream truck driving up the tarmac. Pearson ends The Bad Idea Book Club Presents: How to Eat an Airplane with an Author's Note that truly surprised me - this book was inspired by actual events. From 1978 to 1980 Michel Lotito ate an entire Cesna 150 airplane. The final four pages of the book are filled with interesting airplane facts, such as: "When you fly in an airplane, stars don't twinkle like they do from the ground. The twinkling is caused by the air above you."
The jacket flap for The Bad Idea Book Club Presents: How to Eat an Airplane promises that upcoming titles in the Bad Idea Book Club "might or might not include," How to Camp Underwater, How to Fold the Sun, How to Walk a Dump Truck, and How to Catch a Piano. Whatever comes next, I will be reading it!
Source: Review Copy