Oh no! Looks like someone’s about to become lunch! In these silly stories, you’ll find plenty of hungry predators looking for a bite to eat. But, when your favorite foods are able to talk back, things become a little trickier. Each of these tales features a pairing up of a predator and their potential prey. But, are these big, tough animals really planning on eating someone? Or is it all a misunderstanding? Regardless of intent, these are some cute and funny picture books that children and their favorite adults are sure to love reading together.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates (Ryan T. Higgins)

Penelope is such a good little dinosaur! And she’s very excited about her first day of school. Only there’s one really big problem… All of Penelope’s classmates are delicious, crunchable children. And it doesn’t matter how many tuna fish sandwiches her parents packed her– Penelope can’t resist having a little snack. But, it’s hard to make friends when everyone knows that you want to eat them. And Penelope has to learn a very important lesson about being a good friend and a good classmate.

Penelope might be the cutest dinosaur I’ve ever seen in a book! With her pink overalls, her little backpack, beady eyes and big nose, readers of all ages will absolutely adore her. As a fun aside, this is a great book to read to a child who has trouble with biting, as it cleverly helps them to understand why those around them do not appreciate being chomped.

Please Don’t Eat Me (Liz Climo)

When Rabbit accidentally tunnels into Bear’s garden, he knows he’s in trouble. After all, he’s torn up the ground and made a mess everywhere. Plus, bear is a big predator! And Rabbit has just one request: please don’t eat me! But, Bear is pretty hungry, so he gives Rabbit a continuous list of tasks to perform, in order to save himself from becoming lunch. But, as the day goes on, Rabbit soon learns what Bear actually wanted was a friend, all along!

Chez Bob (Bob Shea)

Bob is a very hungry alligator, but he’s really lazy, too. When asking birds to just fly into his mouth doesn’t work, he comes up with the perfect trick to get himself an easy meal. He’s going to create a birdseed restaurant on his face. Then, the birds will come right to him! And while his feathered friends think they’re going to get a delicious meal, Bob can snap them up at his leisure. And best of all, he can sell this brilliant idea to other lazy gators, and make enough money for some fancy new accessories, such as diamond teeth and a solid gold hat.

But, Bob’s plan backfires when he realizes the bird trust him. And he even realizes that he’s starting to become friends with them! Oh no! What will Bob do? You’ll have to read this hilarious little book to find out!

Bear and Chicken (Jannie Ho)

A kindhearted bear finds a chicken frozen in the snow. He takes him home to warm him up again. But, when chicken wakes up, she can’t help but think that bear is prepping her for mealtime. After all, she’s wrapped up like a burrito, there are chopped veggies and basil on the counter, and the huge pot on the stove is just the right size for chicken to fit into.

It’s almost time for lunch, so chicken prepares to make a run for it. But, she soon learns that perhaps she jumped to conclusions and not everything is as it seems. This sweet story will teach children to not judge a book by its cover, and even better, there’s a recipe for soup in the back, so your hungry readers can enjoy a special treat when the book is over.

Mother Bruce (Ryan T. Higgins)

Bruce is a grumpy bear who just wants to be left alone. He enjoys shopping, napping, and eating (especially eggs!) and doesn’t want someone hanging around and messing up his routine. So, when his hardboiled goose eggs end up hatching into real live goslings, Bruce starts to lose his appetite. And to make matters worse, the sweet little babies think that Bruce is their mother! What’s a grouchy loner to do? So, with a gaggle of goslings in tow, Bruce sets out to return the babies to their mother, so he can go back to being left alone.

Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue (Maurice Sendak)

Pierre doesn’t care. About anything. And he won’t listen to his parents. He won’t do his chores. He won’t do anything. His parents repeatedly warn him, but to no avail. It takes an encounter with a hungry lion to set him on the right track again.

This last title is a bit of a “bonus,” since unlike the other titles on this list, there isn’t a heartwarming lesson in friendship at the end. Pierre of course, learns a very important lesson, but it’s in obedience and responsibility, not in being a better friend or learning to accept the differences of others. This is a hilarious little story and a childhood favorite of one of our staff members and came highly recommended to me (and now I’m recommending it to you!).

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.