Bemonster, Ludworst. Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2012
As I was wandering through Barnes and Noble, this book caught my eye. Its cover called to me (Robin, Buy me!). I looked at it, studied it and pondered it. The art style looked familiar, the printing looked familiar. What was it about this book? Then I picked it up and read the first two pages and smacked my head, “Duh!” Here’s the first two lines of this book.
In a creep old castle all covered in spines,
lived twelve ugly monsters in two crooked lines.
It came to me! It was a parody of Ludwig Bemelman’s Madeline. Had I studied the cover more thoroughly, I would have noticed this statement above the author’s name: “A spooky twist on the classic tale of Madeline” and so it is.
As Madeline was the focus of Bemelman’s story, Frankenstein is the focus of Bemonster’s. Here is how this ugly little guy is described.
The ugliest one was Frankenstein.
He scared people out of their socks.
He could even frighten rocks.
When he visited the zoo,
animals hid and cried, “Boo-hoo!”
These little monsters have a caregiver too, her name is Miss Devel. Like Miss Clavel, she is awakened and realizes something is not right! Frankenstein has lost his head. He is whisked away. Where does he go? He is rushed to the laboratory. Where else would you take a little monster for repair? Has he lost his head for good? What will happen?
I wish I had children to share this book with, it would be a silly, creepy read. We would have shivered and chuckled our way through it. I may entertain my family with a reading from this book at dinner. I wonder, if they can guess who all the other little monsters are. I just figured out that they are all famous in their own right. I spotted the Bride of Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon to name two. Attention to detail is important so this is a “CaldeNOT Horror Book” instead of a Caldecott Honor Book.
I don’t always buy a book based on its cover, however much I like it. I might have left this book at B&N and regaled you with another of my Halloween books had I not read the author information in the back. Here’s what captured my attention!
Ludworst Bemonster is the pen name for author Rick Walton and artist Nathan Hale, who got bored one Halloween and decided that their favorite children’s book would be much, much better if there were monsters in it.
Is this classic story better with monsters? I will let you decide. It is ghoulish enough to share with your favorite trick or treaters. Happy Halloween!