How to Eat an Airplane

How to Eat an Airplane
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
May 24, 2016
Buy This Book
The first book in the Bad Ideas Book Club, aptly named How to Eat an Airplane, explains: If you want to eat an airplane, there are a few things you should know. 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. It’s fact-based picture book fiction at its most absurd!

By crossing two unrelated topics—dinner etiquette and jet plane mechanics—How to Eat an Airplane creates an unexpected and absurdly funny experience for young readers. Inspired by the true story of Michel Lotito, who from 1978 to 1980 ate an entire Cessna 150 airplane and holds the Guinness World Record for Strangest Diet, the book covers everything from setting the table with forklifts and toasting with engine oil to fastening your seat belts at the table and taking a nice stretch in between courses—preferably on the airplane’s wings.

There’s a disclaimer included for anyone who believes the book is an actual guide—as well as four pages of fascinating and relevant airplane facts. Perfect for precocious readers and airplane lovers as well as teachers and parents looking to enjoy something unique and fun.

Editor review

1 review
Goofy "how to" book
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Children host a party where they both ride on and eat a jet while brushing up on their party etiquette and table manners. Inspired by a person who managed to eat an entire small plane during the course of two years, this book offers a wing-in-cheek look at how one might go about replicating this process. Of course, when setting the table for a eating a jet, forklifts are more important than forks, although goblets are perfect for jet fuel. Interspersed between tidbits of information about planes (the breaks take 45 minutes to cook down) are tips on being a polite party guest. (Tell jokes, make late guests comfortable.) The end of the book lists a lot of interesting facts about airplanes.
Good Points
The pictures in this book are fresh and colorful, and very detailed, with some cut-and-paste effect on some of the equipment. The final panel, where the children are having an ice cream truck for dessert, shows the truck disassembled and children in a variety of bright clothing consuming various portions of the equipment.

This was reminiscent of a favorite from my children's past-- Betsy Everitt's 1994 TV Dinner, where "Daisy Lee ate the t.v.", and also put me in mind of Marjorie Priceman's How to Make an Apple Pie and see the World, from the same year. While children will hopefully know NOT to actually eat an airplane, there is a disclaimer about how difficult it would be. Children love goofy books, and I'm curious to see what other "bad ideas" are offered up for this book club! I think that "How to Fold the Sun" could be very interesting!
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