Rest assured, we will not be delving into anything by Mary Shelley today! 

*As a librarian pointed out to me, this is a clever rewrite of the classic Madeline with a horrific twist -- so if you are in the market for something like that, well, then this is the title for you   
*Even a hater like me has to admit that the twelve little monsters are just so darn cute
*Love the fake Caldecott medal on the cover -- if you've spent more than a minute on my site you'll know why

*For people like me who have never read Ludwig Bemelman's original work, then very few of the jokes land the way they were meant to, causing it to feel like a cacophonous mess 
*The whole monsters losing their heads thing is a tad much for even the most rough-and-tumble of kids 
*If you put Frank in a lineup with some of those other critters, I doubt he would be voted the most frightening of all

It's rare that I admit that a book was difficult for me to rate.  But this one definitely was; however, not for the reasons you would normally expect.  I've weaved through it a few times with my son (he thinks it's okay, but likes the pics), so I can say with virtual certainty that I think it's a pretty bad read.  Frankenstein starts off with such promise, yet, by the end, uninformed readers like me are left scratching their heads wondering what just happened.  If it wasn't for the cool-looking characters, it would actually be close to Destroy material (despite my sincere belief that co-authors Rick Walton and Nathan Hale are forces to be reckoned with who just went for big air and didn't land it).  So, you might be asking, where's the dilemma in assigning a rating to this book?  It comes from that one little throwaway sentence uttered by the librarian (and the inside cover as well (oh yeah, and the front cover art, too, I should mention)) about it being a parody of Madeline.  If there is an audience for such a thing, then, by all means, they should ignore most of what I have said here.  For everyone else judging Frank on his own merits, it's a Donate all the way.

Buy / Borrow / DONATE / Destroy

No comments: