Frankenstein by Ludworst Bemonster – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our children. These are books that they, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

frankenstein pictureFrankenstein: A Monstrous Parody by Ludworst Bemonster (Rick Walton and Nathan Hale)
Published by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan

I doubt I am alone in this, but when I was young I simply adored Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeleine. In Frankenstein, Rick Walton and Nathan Hale – writing under the pseudonym Ludworst Bemonster – parodies the beloved childhood classic to monstrous effect. Their main character, as you might expect, is a little Frankenstein, although instead of the littlest of them, he is the ugliest one.

The first portion of Frankenstein is particularly clever. Bemonster has a good ear for the rhyme and meter of the original Madeleine and the story is cute. The monsters’s teacher Miss Devel wakes one night, certain that something is quite wrong and finds that Frankenstein has, quite literally, lost his head.

Frankenstein has some really great ‘spooky’ vocabulary. Things are grotesque and gory, full of shrieks and howls and groans, the monsters torment Miss Devel. The plot loses a bit of steam at the end, though, particularly after what should be the end of the book. There are two more pages of illustration that are so anti-climatic that they nearly ruin the entire book.

Of course, that is all from an adult’s point of view. Daniel, who is now three years old and has never read Madeleine, thoroughly enjoys Frankenstein. He has pronounced it his “favorite,” seemingly due to the good cadence and rhyme, as well as the cutely spooky illustrations.

5210693610 37ae2ff460 m pictureBuy this book from:
Powells*| Indiebound*

Source: Publisher
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
dp seal trans 16x16 pictureCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2012

The Smiley Book of Colors by Ruth Kaiser – Saturday Story Spotlight

TheSmileyBookofColors pictureWelcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

The Smiley Book of Colors by Ruth Kaiser
Published by Golden Books, an imprint of Random House

Smiles are contagious, whether from a family member, or made out of macaroni and cheese. Ruth Kaiser makes a point of seeing – and photographing – smiley faces everywhere and they are highlighted in The Smiley Book of Colors. Sorted by color and accompanied by brief rhyming text on each page, there are some 30 smileys faces found in every day items in The Smiley Book of Colors in addition to those found on the end papers.

I must admit, I was skeptical about The Smiley Book of Colors, most of all whether Daniel would appreciate it. Surely 2 and 1/2 is too young, I thought, to comprehend something as abstract as faces in inanimate objects. Luckily I took a chance with it anyway, because Daniel absolutely adores The Smiley Book of Colors. He seemed to be not entirely sure what he was looking at when he first flipped through the book, but once we showed him one smile, he could see them in each and every picture and found each of them absolutely delightful. He can also tell us what most of the objects actually are as well. In addition, the book is enhanced for him by the color groupings; not only does he want to go through and find all the faces, he goes through and announces the color on each page as well.

The Smiley Book of Colors will both delight children, and teach them to look for the creative and unexpected in the world all around them.

5210693610 37ae2ff460 m pictureBuy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
dp seal trans 16x16 pictureCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2012

The Gingerbread Man – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

thegingerbreadman pictureThe Gingerbread Man illustrated by Karen Schmidt
Published by Scholastic Paperbacks, an imprint of Scholastic

I’m sure you all know the basics of this one: gingerbread man comes to life, taunts those who attempt to chase him, becomes over-confident, gets eaten by a fox.

We started reading this with Daniel around Thanksgiving and it became a favorite in no time and has been an oft-requested book for the entirety of winter (or what has passed for winter this year, anyway). Most of the time Daniel now “reads” this to us, at the very least reciting the gingerbread man’s lines “Run, run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!” Actually, he doesn’t just recite those lines when we’re reading the book, if he’s running (particularly if he’s running AWAY from us around the house) he is extremely likely to be shouting the same lines.

The predictive text in this book is great for a pre-reader like Daniel, but what is even better is how much it has captured his imagination.

5210693610 37ae2ff460 m pictureBuy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
dp seal trans 16x16 pictureCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2012

My Fire Engine – Saturday Story Spotlight

myfireengine pictureWelcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

My Fire Engine by Michael Rex
Published by Henry Holt and Company

What little kid doesn’t want to be a fireman. The unnamed protagonist of My Fire Engine gets to do exactly that. “I have a fire engine,” he tells us on the first page, “I fight fires all the time.” From there, he goes on to run through a typical fire call at the fire house, from dressing and sliding down the pole, to driving the different fire engines to the scene. Once at the fire, he and his crew look for people, break holes in the house to let the gases escape, and even rescue the family’s pet snake.

One of the best things about My Fire Engine is how adaptable it is. There are a lot of fairly specific details about fire engines that go way over Daniel’s head right now but would be great for older kids. The bright, colorful pictures as well as the basic fact that there are FIRE ENGINES! makes this one of Daniel’s favorite reads.

We borrowed My Fire Engine from the library, but I think we’ll be buying it; this book has real staying power.

5210693610 37ae2ff460 m pictureBuy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Library copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
dp seal trans 16x16 pictureCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011

The Night Before Christmas – Saturday Story Spotlight

nightbeforeChristmas pictureWelcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Ted Rand
Published by North-South Books

Sometimes I underestimate Daniel. I would have thought that the length and the often complex and old-fashioned language of The Night Before Christmas would have had him squirming in his chair after just a few pages.

I was so far off, it isn’t even funny; Daniel LOVES The Night Before Christmas. We have read this so many times, now, that he knows the end of every line, and can recite the first few stanzas – not that he gets every word, of course, but most of it makes sense. I’m not sure exactly what it is, sure the Santa part is neat, but that actually seems to be his least favorite. I think it is just the whole Christmas excitement, since he is much more aware of it than he has been in the past.

Don’t be afraid to try this classic with your young children, you may just find that they love it!

5210693610 37ae2ff460 m pictureBuy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
dp seal trans 16x16 pictureCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011

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