Thursday, September 21, 2006

poetry friday: Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich written and illustrated by Adam
Rex. Harcourt, 2006 (0-15-205768-8) $16.00

The subtitle of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich is "And Other Stories You're Sure to Like Because They're All About Monsters, and Some of Them are Also About Food. You Like Food, Don't You? Well All Right Then," and you might well think that tells you everything you need to know about this book. But there you'd be wrong, because a silly subtitle doesn't do anything like justice to the breadth of its humor and the extraordinary stylishness of its design.

Vignettes in verse describe incidents in the lives of some famous and lesser known monsters, with some of the verses hard-pressed to live up to the inspired hilarity of their titles, which include "Count Dracula Doesn't Know He's Been Walking Around All Night with Spinach in His Teeth," and "The Mummy Won't Go To His Eternal Rest Without a Story and Some Cookies." The wacky/absurd/gross appeal to kids is obvious, but you probably have to be older to truly appreciate the full visual impact of these rich and richly allusive illustrations, which draw on numerous sources and styles. My favorites are a running gag in which the Phantom of the Opera, drawn in dramatic, silent-movie black and white, is portrayed in intense, bone-twisting anguish--because he can't get the tune "It's a Small World" out of his head. I've been there. (6 & up)

we read banned books

Outside of a Cat asks us to join in reading some banned books next week. Sounds exciting! Unfortunately, I have already read Whale Talk and unlike everyone else in the kidlitosphere, was not that impressed by it. (I do love some of Crutcher's books... maybe I just don't like books with Whales in the title?)

I do have a copy of It's Not the Stork to review, and it's probably safe to assume that will be be banned at some point.