Monday, September 14, 2009

Brains at Every Single Meal, Why Can't We Have Some Guts?

Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich
by Adam Rex
Harcourt, Inc., 2006

It is most certainly impossible to not fall madly in love with monsters after reading Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich (byline: And other stories you’re sure to like, because they’re about monsters, and some of them are also about food. You like food don’t you? Well, alright then.). Author/illustrator Adam Rex, utilizing the literary art of poetry, presents a creative anthology of monster stories.

The title poem of the book sets the pace for rhymes that effortlessly roll off the page and off the tongue. The liquidity of the text throughout the book makes it quite a lyrical read-aloud as well as an enjoyable treat for solo reading. “When Frankenstein prepared to dine on ham-and-cheese on wheat, he found, instead, he had no bread, (or mustard, cheese, or meat).” Some other characters featured throughout the book include the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll, the Yeti, and the Phantom of the Opera, to name a few. Some of the characters appear once, and some are featured a few times. For instance, the Phantom of the Opera has a few poems dedicated to him for his inability to get catchy tunes out of his head while he tries to compose his arias (my personal favorite when he can’t get “The Girl from Ipanema” out of his head). The poems in this book create silly scenarios, such as spinach remaining stuck in Dracula’s fangs because everyone is too afraid to tell him its there. Possibly better yet, these poems are a wealth of valuable information, such as suggesting one to make a hat out of carrots so zombies will abstain from your brain.

To complete a poetry collection as varied and bizarre as this, Rex created accompanying illustrations that are purely magical. Paying homage to famous illustrators of children’s literature throughout the book, such as Richard Scarry and Tony Diterlizzi, he showcases a diverse color and style palette. The variations of media to represent the different personalities of each creature was an act of simple beauty. Vibrant colors, detailed ink drawings, and shiny black and whites are a few of the impressive artistic techniques employed. Overall, this book is the perfect marriage of silliness, gentle gore, flowing text, and smooth illustrations. I think children will delight in this book and quite simply, gobble it up. Just like Frankenstein did with that molding heap of unsavory edibles. Bon app├ętit!

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