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Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance Hardcover – February 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811821692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811821698
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ghoulish gross-outs abound in this one-joke ditty about a zombie's big break in showbiz. The opening spread pictures Frank at home, relaxing to an episode of Soul Train and accompanied by a patchwork monster-cat. Frank doesn't look like a hoofer. He's comprised of a skull-like green head (zippered around the top), a bulbous blue nose, glowing yellow eyes and skeletal limbs. Nonetheless, he has a dream, and to fulfill it, "He drove to the theater/ and jumped onstage./ Then he danced like his shoe size instead of his age!" During his performance, however, Frank makes a faux pas. His brain, complete with worms and flies, accidentally oozes onto the boards, "And after his arm/ fell out of his sleeve,/ the horrified audience/ started to leave." Newcomer Graves pays generic, goofy homage to Frankenstein and to 1960s-era hot-rod art. He goes heavy on the purple, electric blue and Astroturf green in his polished, nearly 3-D compositions of acrylic and colored pencil. Even the hand-lettered text, with its occasional incorporation of worms, bulging eyes, etc., contributes to the expansion of the punchline, which will likely hit primary graders' funny bones. Ages 2-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-This is the story of a Frankenstein-type monster whose only desire is to dance. The garish creature, whose eyes bulge alarmingly, is shown in the first spread watching Soul Train. With dreams of the spotlight, he crashes the theater, where the audience has gathered to see the Royal Ballet. Instead, they see the leering Frank in a vaudeville sort of dance, complete with top hat and cane. The audience raves until the creature begins to come undone: his head unzips and his brain tumbles out. The act ends with the monster losing an eye, an arm, and his head as the crowd stampedes for the door. Readers may be startled by the dance's ending-should they feel sorry for Frank or run screaming like the audience? The verse is stilted at times and children probably won't get the joke when Frank is said to have "danced like his shoe size, instead of his age." The text jitters around the page just like a dancer. Words are emphasized with a variety of fonts, colors, shapes, and sizes. Some letters turn into eyeballs and worms to tie into the plot. The acrylic illustrations are slightly gross-Frank's brain flops out of his skull dripping flies and worms, and his eyeball rolls out the door. The book is a little too gory to be hilarious, and not enough attention is given to the monster's personality to bring him to life.
Susan Marie Pitard, Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Keith Graves grew up long ago in a strange, humid land called New Orleans. And if you don't think it really is a strange place, then you haven't been there for Mardi Gras.
He is the author and illustrator of a bunch of nutty books for children including Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Chicken Big, and Three Nasty Gnarlies.
Keith lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Nancy and twins Max and Emma. His website is keithgravesart.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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My kids laugh so hard, and think it's so funny!
MontanaMom
I bought this book a month ago to read with our 4 year old son.
Amy M.
A creative story with exceptional pictures and colors.
Michael L. Mckay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amy M. on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book a month ago to read with our 4 year old son. The wonderful illustrations were the first thing to catch my eye -- after reading it, the writing is just as great as the illustrations! My son has asked my husband and I to read this book to him every night for the last three weeks -- adults and children will laugh out loud at the loveable Frank who only wants to dance as his body unexpectedly unzips, falls off, or drops to the floor. A great read any time of the year -- not just at Halloween!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Cook on October 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my 2 year old son who asks for multiple readings daily. The illustrations and text are very entertaining for all ages. I hope Mr. Graves will have more books published in the near future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CTP on September 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As you may have noticed from several other reviews, 4 years old is the 'magic age' for the audience of this fun and colorfully illustrated book. The rhyme-verse is easily memorized in only 10 or 15 readings (by most 4 year old patrons). Now my daughter loves to read the story to me (complete with "meows" and "boffo" comments). --> Good preschool training in word recognition and phonics (when she confused boffo with bravo we had the opportunity to discuss that you need to read more than the first letter...). Though the text is rather stylistic type, she has no problem in recognizing the letters.
She also has come up with some interesting questions like: why does his brain have orange polka dots... do our brains have polka dots and worms in them? Why does he have a zipper on his head? and other things that parents face daily from inquisitive 4 year olds....
The subjet matter is VERRRRY appropriate for this time of year (Halloween) but is funny and not scary to the little ones. If you can believe it, I have not been bored by the book and we have read it over 22 times in three weeks. (So it's ok for parents too...)
Heartfelt thanks to several listmania reviewers who recommended it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Megan on January 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want your child to be shown that they can be unique,differant and beautiful,get them this book!! It's fantastic,it not only has the cool gross out features all kids like,but it also has plenty of clever fun rhyming and a GREAT message. The message being,no matter who you are,how bizzare,how much society may put you down,you have the talent you want to have and you can do it. It's a wonderful book,so glad I found this again right before my pregnancy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RunNaturalPT in Georgia on January 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderful--a new favorite for my 4 year old triplets! They have memorized the rhyme and we sing it in the car. It is the kind of book that your children will want to read over and over again because of its silliness and rhyme!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Capehart VINE VOICE on May 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Buy this...but be warned your little one is going to beg you to read it again and again! It's been a hit with 3 year olds & second graders alike. Gross fun, catchy verse, and a story about being yourself (even if you scare the be-jeebers outta everyone else) make this a sure-fire hit!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Civia on February 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My son couldn't "read" this book enough. We checked it out from the library and he carried it everywhere with him for 3 weeks! He's four years old and even brought it to "Share & Tell" at school...and he "read" it! A real must buy book in my eyes. Anything that motivates a child to read and be read to is worth having! The rhymes are funny and well done along with the crazy pictures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book was a blast! I love the part when his brains fall out. My boys loved it. It was very well put together, and the illustrations were great. I got the chance to meet Mr. Graves and have our book signed at my sons school when they held literacy night. He had his twins Max and Emma whom he dedicated the book to with him, and they were adorable!!
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