Saturday, October 03, 2009

Reading with Ben - Poetry Saturday

My son tends to find his own books, and very selectively too, so it was a little thrill to see him reading something I'd put on his shelves, Making Friends with Frankenstein. Tonight his dad was out of town, so rather than the usual installment of Harry Potter with voices, I picked up MFwF and read him some of it. What a fascinating experience it is to read comic poetry with a highly intelligent autistic child. He wanted me to explain many of the jokes, especially the puns, but then he found them just hilarious.

He's reading to himself now and I can hear almost constant laughter.

It doesn't seem to be in print at the moment, but used copies abound. My original review:

Making Friends With Frankenstein written and illustrated by Colin McNaughton. Candlewick, 1994 (1-56402-308-7) $19.95; 2001 (0-7636-1552-8) $4.99 pb

The gross, grisly, subversive and wickedly amusing atmosphere of children's playground verses is perfectly captured in this original collection of "monstrous poems and pictures." By turns gruesome, malevolent and cynical--but always gleeful--Making Friends With Frankenstein is delightfully shocking and hysterically funny. The cartoony pictures are an excellent match for the verses: neither are for the weak of stomach. American readers may be baffled by occasional references to English expressions and culture, but that's no big deal--they'll still devour this book and scream for more.

© 2009 Wendy E. Betts

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