Thursday, October 17, 2013

Crankenstein - a book review

           "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."
                                            ~Richard Steele 

Title:  Crankenstein
Author:  Samantha Berge
Illustrator:  Dan Santat

Look at that face....a face only a mother could love!   This is a delightful story about an ordinary kid that when his stresses pile up inside of him - turns into a monster,  a green-faced monster named Crankenstein.  What stresses could an ordinary little boy possibly be faced with?  Well according to him:  a rainy day will do it,  being offered a huge stack of pancakes with only one drop of syrup left to top it off will do it, having to get up and go to school....yep that will elevate his stress level too.  Oh yeah, let's not forget dripping popsicles on a too hot day , or the phrase, "it's bedtime now," waiting in long lines forever and being forced to down gross cough syrup will definitely conjure up his monster madness.   When he finds himself maxed out, his response is a loud, monstery growl...... "MEHHRRRR!" What can possibly cure Crankensteinitis? Is there an antidote at all?  His mood changes when he meets up with a kindred spirit...another Crankenstein and he laughs out loud.  Yes, a  cure is attainable for sure.

The illustrations are priceless and truly carry the story.  They are Adobe Photoshop and they zoom in on every extreme facial expression and clenched fist - eventually leading up to Crankenstein's full fledged fury and relieved recovery.  The book is narrated by an unknown person who clearly is one of his parents.

Who is this little cranky character Crankenstein?  HE IS A MONSTER OF GRUMPINESS THAT NO ONE CAN DESTROY!!!  HE'S ALIVE!  (and living in this wonderful, funny read aloud that is just waiting for you to open and enjoy!)  Dispel your this book. I highly recommend it.

About the author:

Samantha Berger is not an otter, a Princess, nor a little monster (well, sometimes) but she IS a writer and artist who loves to make up stories about all three!
From the time she was very little, Samantha has always loved children’s books, cartoons, comics, costumes, and Kermit the Frog.

Samantha grew up to become the Vice President of Animated Shorts at Nickelodeon, and to write over seventy books for young readers, most recently, "Martha Doesn't Say Sorry!" and"Martha Doesn't Share!"

Before Nickelodeon, Samantha was an Editor at Scholastic, before that a Preschool Teacher, before that, worked at Rhino Records, and before THAT skipped merrily 'round the streets of Brooklyn and Philly.

Samantha recently learned how to drive and moved to sunny California after 15 years on Manhattan Isle.  She shares her home with two terrific rescue dogs, ‘Rora Mae and Polly Pocket, also know as The Senior and The Puppy.

Samantha loves to travel all over the world, and do as much good as she can along the way.  She also loves to laugh loud and hard, as often as possible.  Can you hear her?  She’s probably laughing right now.

About the Illustrator

  • Dan Santat
    TV Series Creator

  • Dan Santat is an American author and illustrator, perhaps best known for his children's book The Guild of Geniuses and for creating the Disney Channel animated series The Replacements. Wikipedia

  • Book Review Rating:   8 (Fantastic!)

    Read on and read always!  Comments welcome.

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