As you may recall, my son is obsessed with spooks, specifically Dracula and Frankenstein. So we’re always on the lookout for literature which addresses this subject, but in a light-hearted and non-terrifying way, since, after all, my boy is literally scared of his own shadow most days.
If your kid is over the age of 4 or 5 and you want to read a picture book that you will enjoy as much, if not more, than they will, you must run, don’t walk, to your local bookstore and get Frankenstein Takes the Cake. Or hell, go on Amazon, and see if they give you one of those “Buy this title with this other title and save!” and then grab Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, too -- Rex’s first Frank book.
The premise is simple – Rex just plops these spooks down in modern day society and lets the madness unfold. Like, for instance, what problems might face the caterer who works the Frankenstein/ Bride of Frankenstein wedding, or what issues might pop up if Medusa were to go to Kindergarten.
Rex had me from the inside flap where his author photo shows a hulky Franken-guy with hipster glasses, underneath which is printed "A haiku about Adam Rex":
“He knows Frankenstein’s the doctor, not the monster. Enough already.”
But when I really started to swoon is when we got to the modern-day story of the Headless Horseman, told through his blog which is titled: “Off the Top of My Head,” We follow the Horseman through his trials and tribulations, as chefs making pumpkin bisque ogle his head and crows go all Hitchcock to peck out the seeds from his eyes. But the best part is when the inevitable happens and the Horseman is forced to go shopping for a new head-fruit to replace the current one that has decayed: “I just can’t hide the funk in/ side this sad and sunken/ pumpkin.”
“He’s like Eminem!” I shouted to David.
“Why don’t you marry him already!” was his reply.
“Is he single?”
I’ll tell you this much. Primo would go nuts to have Adam Rex as a step-dad. He is totally, one hundred percent infatuated with the books, harboring particular affection for a story entitled “Count Dracula doesn't know he's been walking around all night with spinach in his teeth.” He also loved that the Headless Horseman’s blogroll featured the site: “I Vant to Suck Your Blog.”
“That’s funny because it’s like instead of blood he wants to suck up somebody’s computer!!!!!” shrieked Primo.
Up- fricking-roarious. And you haven’t even gotten to “The Invisible Man Gets a Haircut” yet. What can I say? Me and the boy have found a new level of kid lit nirvana.
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.