Hamline News

MFAC '12 Alum Book Launch: Peter Pearson


How to Eat an Airplane, by Peter Pearson
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Release May 24, 2016
Picture Book, 40 pages
Illustrations by Mircea Catusanu
Order the book: HarperCollins
Peter’s Author site: peterpearson.com

Peter Pearson's (MFAC ’12) debut picture book, How to Eat an Airplane, is an absurdist guide to eating an airplane without embarrassing yourself. 

Launch Party is Saturday June 4th at Flying Cloud airport, from 11am to 12pm.
Facebook Event PageCome on down to the Wings of the North flight museum for a reading, airplane-themed treats, Special Musical Guests, and airplanes galore. 

(Note: Musical guests and airplanes not for eating.)



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. The Bad Ideas Book Club: Where the best ideas are bad ideas.



A man ate an airplane. This is true. Though this is not his story, Pearson uses it to ground a surprisingly informative book about the technology (and etiquette). Pearson tosses in some humdinger words—aileron, fuselage, the Tardiness Toast: "To friends and clocks and paradox. / I'm usually on time. Oops"—but he makes them go down even easier than Cessna 150 parts. 

This series opener is a successful combination of etiquette book and airplane cookery: who’d have thunk it?
 —Kirkus Book Review (full review)

Goofy "how to" book… 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.
—Karen Yingling, YA Books Central



Fair Trade Books
Saturday, June 18, 2016
12:00pm 3:00pm
Fair Trade Books 

Peter will be hanging out at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing to read a bit, chat up customers, and perform feats of strength. Stop on by! 

Figgy Airplane Eucalyptus @ Wild Rumpus
Thursday, July 14, 2016
1:30pm 2:30pm
Wild Rumpus Bookstore 

Need to get your fix of books, cats, and chickens? Look no further than the Wild Rumpus. Peter will be doing a joint reading with Marsha Wilson Chall and Daniel Bernstrom. Fair warning: It's an official field trip of the Hamline MFAC program, so watch out for kid-lit fanatics. There'll be more than usual. 

St. Paul Saints Game!
Sunday, July 24, 2016
4:15pm 6:15pm
CHS Field 

Peter will be reading on the field during a St. Paul Saints game! Nothing like the ol' minor-league-baseball-airplane-consumption shtick. 



After detours through social services and astrophysics, Peter Pearson earned his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in 2012. Peter has received awards, grants, and other recognition from Hamline, the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Anderson Center. 

Peter Pearson spends most of his time pressed against the fence of the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport. He also makes pretty good pancakes and is sort of tall. 

Follow Peter on twitter @PeterPearson1 
Read an interview with Peter at the Storyteller’s Inkpot