Friday, October 19, 2012

Frankenstein: a Monstrous Parody by Ludworst Bemonster*

With Halloween coming soon, it’s time to sit down with a cup of hot cider and enjoy this silly, wry take on Ludwig Bemelmans' beloved Madeline books that should make everyone including adults laugh out loud. Author Rick Walton’s use of the pen name Ludworst Bemonster* adds to the fun while Nathan Hale’s childlike illustrations evoke typical preschooler fantasies of what monsters should look like.  

The book opens with these lines: 

In a creepy old castle all covered with spines,
Lived twelve ugly monsters in two crooked lines
In two crooked lines, they bonked their heads,
Pulled out their teeth and wet their beds.

The book goes on to note that:
The ugliest one was Frankenstein.
He scared people out of their socks.
He could even frighten rocks.

This parody will make little boys whoop with laughter.  It’s just “scary” enough for them to love but not so frightening that it’d cause nightmares.  Girls who love Madeline will enjoy it, too, but I’d buy it for boys.

If I were teaching preschool or kindergarten, I’d use this as a story starter and let the kids create their own monster books based on a slew of rhyming favorites I’d set out for them to peruse. I’d also encourage them to make their own crooked lines and walk like their favorite monsters might.

Ages four and up

Summing it Up: Enjoy the Halloween season with this silly, "scary" parody of the Madeline books.  Give it to your favorite preschool or kindergarten-aged boy. 

Rating:  4 stars   

Category: Peanut Butter and Jelly

Publication date: July 17, 2012

Illustrator Web Site (filled with scary fun):

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