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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, written and illustrated by Adam Rex. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Allen & Son. 2006. $9.99 ages 8 and up

"'Twas all his fault
he added salt,
instead of
crumbled skull.
The vial of bile
was pickle juice,
and dill
just made
it dull."

Don't think you can open this book and read only one of these wonderfully wacky won't happen. One leads to another, and then to another...pretty soon you are done and have completely enjoyed yourself reading about classic monsters and FOOD. You may even find yourself humming It's a Small World or Pop Goes the Weasel or perhaps The Girl from Ipanema...right along with the Phantom of the Opera. He can't get those tunes out of his head!  

Of his monsters, Adam Rex has this to say:

"Just because you might be a monster, that doesn’t mean life is going to be all terrified villagers and biting. There’s a down side—monsters have problems, too. Bigfoot and the Yeti are always being mistaken for one another. Frankenstein has trouble meeting new people. Witches, on the other hand, are constantly being scrutinized by hag enthusiasts. They have clubs for that sort of thing."

It is just too much fun....the rhythm of the language is pitch perfect and the rhymes will have you rocking with hilarity. The poor monsters are faced with problems and dilemmas that no one should face. Take the son of Dracula. He's just fine sucking the blood of warm-blooded creatures, but reptiles and lizards? They give him a toothache, and you know what that means:

""It needs to be mended. And so, if you're willing,
I'll patch it right up with a small silver filling."
A filling? With silver? Drac wanted to shout,
the werewolves will hate me! I've got to get out!"

I guarantee repeated readings, and offer this will take a while but it's worth your time to listen to the giggles and the 'ewww! gross!!!' You've heard of each of these monsters at some time or other. Their situations are a bit convoluted for these poems, but their characters retain their classic ways. The illustrations are forever changing and are awash with charm. Parents will get the jokes that little ones don't and that only adds the appeal. Since you're going to be called to read it again and again, you want to be entertained, too.

Adam Rex pulls out all stops and shares his considerable talent in illustrating each poem using a wide variety of styles. They will have you checking out each and every intricate detail.

I will leave you with ONE of my favorites:


I'm stumped as to why we all lump this poor chump
with the rest of the monsters, just 'cause of his hump.
It's not like he drains all the blood from your veins,
or sucks out your brains and then eats your remains.

I bet when he packs all those brown paper sacks
and he takes them for lunch, breakfast, dinner, or brunch,
that he'll munch, snack, and chew on the same food as you.

Just a hunch."

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