written by Samantha Bergerillustrated by Dan Santat
published by Little Brown and Company, 2013ages 3 - 7
From the Publisher:
BEWARE OF CRANKENSTEIN!Who is Crankenstein?
HE IS A MONSTER OF GRUMPINESS THAT NO ONE CAN DESTROY! MEHHRRRR!!! HE'S ALIVE!He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting popsicle, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein. When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic--or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day!
My Thoughts as a Writer:
The concept of this book is one all kids can connect with! I loved the voice in this story and admired how so much was conveyed in just a few words. The illustrations complement the story so well – I loved the expressions on Crankenstein’s face.
I also liked the way the book was structured, with repetition in sets of 3s, just enough to entertain without being monotonous for an adult during a read aloud. The ending was cute. This is another example of how a good concept is important in creating a picture book.
My Thoughts as a Teacher:
This book would be a nice one to read around Hallowe’en or in comparison with other monster books. I’d use it to start a discussion about feelings and what makes you feel grumpy, and expand the discussion to talk about what to do when you feel grumpy. You could also encourage students to write about their own “Crankenstein” stories or moments.
The edition I borrowed from my public library had funny labeled diagrams of Crankenstein on the front and back covers. These would be a great model for a fun activity where students draw themselves as a Crankenstein and make up their own labels.
For other great picture books to read, check out Perfect Picture Book Friday, using #PPBF on Twitter, or visit Susanna Leonard Hill's blog for a list of bloggers who are blogging about picture books today!
Did you know it's Picture Book Month? Every day in November, a picture book champion explains why he/she thinks picture books are important.
It's also PiBoIdMo (aka Picture Book Idea Month), where picture book writers try to come up with 30 ideas in 30 days. I'm excited to try the challenge!