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: 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.

Buy 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.
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Five Little Pumpkins – 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.

Five Little Pumpkins, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Published by Harper Festival, an imprint of HarperCollins

Five Little Pumpkins, a Halloween classic!

You all probably know the Five Little Pumpkins poem: “Five little pumpkins, sitting on a gate; the first one says “Oh my! It’s getting late!” And so on, and so forth.

This might be one of Daniel’s very favorite books. I think we kept reading it for about six months after Halloween last year. There is a great rhythm and rhyme, and this edition has only a short bit of text on each page, which really keeps the poem moving -and which makes it easy to repeat and memorize, I’m pretty sure Daniel is going to know the whole thing before Halloween. The illustrations are simple with lots of contrast, which makes them great for young children. Oh, and if you weren’t aware, that pumpkin in the back with the down-turned oval eyes is crying. At least according to Daniel.

Five Little Pumpkins is a great Halloween staple for any young child’s library.

Buy 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.
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Sheep in a Jeep – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, 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.

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, illustrated by Margaret Apple
Published by HMH Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Oh, these sheep and their jeep! They are not the most responsible of car owners. First their car stalls, then they push it into a big mud puddle. Finally, when the car has been removed by some friendly pigs, they are so elated that they forget to even steer and crash their jeep once again.

This is perhaps my very favorite book to read to Daniel. I absolutely love Shaw’s rhymes, everything flows perfectly. What I like best about “Sheep in a Jeep,” though is opportunity it gives me for vocal expression. Things start out peachy keen, but before long the sheep are shrugging, leaping, and grunting. It is great fun to read all of these descriptives with the appropriate inflection, plus it provides additional clues, besides simple context, for Daniel to learn this vocabulary. The most fun of all? Daniel definitely understands the book enough to know that unfortunate things are happening. The first word on page 2 is ‘uh oh,’ so he likes to shout that as soon as I flip from page one. He also adds his own commentary of ‘uh oh’ when the jeep ends up in a heap at the end of the book.

So much fun, and great for phonemic awareness. I just became aware when writing this post that there is a whole series of sheep books, where they get on a ship, go to a shop, take a hike. Daniel and I can’t wait to check them out.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

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.