Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let them read Frankenstein
I like cake. I like Frankenstein. Ipso facto: I like Frankenstein Takes the Cake. Oh fine. Maybe it's a little more complicated than that. Maybe I like other things about the book too. Perhaps the art. Maybe the characters. And there's always the off chance that what I really like about is that it's a picture book/poetry sequel that takes cool monsters and makes them...
Published on September 1, 2008 by E. R. Bird

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really for kids--but is a children's book
First let me say right off the top that this book is fabulous. Fabulously illustrated. Flawless cadence. And funny--oh, my--it is hilarious. FOR ADULTS. If this book was marketed to grown-ups, it would get five stars, hands down. Filled with Frankenstein getting married, Edgar Allen Poe having writer's block, and a blog by the Headless Horseman, along with weight loss for...
Published on October 9, 2008 by Armchair Interviews


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really for kids--but is a children's book, October 9, 2008
By 
First let me say right off the top that this book is fabulous. Fabulously illustrated. Flawless cadence. And funny--oh, my--it is hilarious. FOR ADULTS. If this book was marketed to grown-ups, it would get five stars, hands down. Filled with Frankenstein getting married, Edgar Allen Poe having writer's block, and a blog by the Headless Horseman, along with weight loss for witches and other monster nonsense, adults will get quite a bit of entertainment, and more so with each reading.

But what about the kids? My children love Adam Rex's Tree Ring Circus and even most of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (aside from the witches that they find incredibly creepy), but halfway through the first reading of Frankenstein Takes the Cake they were totally done and haven't asked for it since.

I've read it over and over again to put my finger on what the difference is. I have come to the conclusion that they just don't get it. Not Tipper Gore. Not mother's-in-law. Not caterers or blogs. And not the fabulously funny end pages. It is all over their heads. And unlike Looney Tunes, which is also filled with adult humor, this book doesn't appeal to their childishness.

So I guess you just need to ask who your audience is. This could be a great coffee table book, or bathroom book, if you are in to creepy things in creepy months, and love subtlety. But I'd give it a second thought if you plan to hand it to your elementary-aged child or read it to preschoolers. Go for his earlier works instead.

Armchair Interviews says: Age appropriateness is questioned.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let them read Frankenstein, September 1, 2008
I like cake. I like Frankenstein. Ipso facto: I like Frankenstein Takes the Cake. Oh fine. Maybe it's a little more complicated than that. Maybe I like other things about the book too. Perhaps the art. Maybe the characters. And there's always the off chance that what I really like about is that it's a picture book/poetry sequel that takes cool monsters and makes them loveable. Rex's first Frankenbook, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich was an odd little puppy. Poems about monsters, a weird variety of artistic styles, and quickfire punches of humor along the way. Rex probably could have copied the format of his first book poem for poem and nobody would have blinked an eye. Takes the Cake goes in a slightly different direction, however. Sure we have a lot of similarities (the black and white Edgar Allan Poe bits replace the Phantom of the Opera glimpses, for example) but for the first time Rex has added a bit of a plot to his story as well. Now you end up with a story, illustrations that pop the old eyeballs, and humor. Not, oh-gee-isn't-that-droll humor, but stuff that kids and adults will find positively hilarious. And yes, there's an obligatory poop joke too.

Well, it's just about time for The Bride of Frankenstein to get married, and you know what that means? Letting her parents know that she is A) Alive again and B) Marrying a fellow who's green. Meanwhile there are catering questions to take into account (some advice... do NOT offer vampires "steak" or a werewolf silverware). There's a flower girl to freak out (not hard). And there's a buffet line with some delicious and unfortunate (for Dracula) garlic bread on the menu. Other poems in the book discuss varied topics as the Headless Horseman's dilapidated head, the dangers of answering your door the day after Halloween, and alien spam. It all ties together by the end, until you're left with a cranky raven badgering you to finish the book. An oddly pleasant experience.

I'm just gonna stop myself right here and tell you why Rex deserves some attention for this book. I can already see some of you out there thinking, "Ah. More of the same." Fair enough. But what if I told you that in this title Rex has expanded his range of visual styles? Then publication page isn't much help in listing them since all its says is, "The illustrations in this book were done in pencil, charcoal, oils, and, in many cases, in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet. And probably some other things." Grrr. Well let's count `em down anyway. You've got some comic book inspired panels and speech bubbles with a flat cartoonish style to match. There are the lush oil paintings that are what the people pay their money to see. There are basic pen-and-ink sketches, of course. There's photography, which is new (and somebody had to design the Headless Horseman's rapidly decomposing head). There's a fellow straight out of an Egyptian painting, gorgeous Japanese inspired inked images, some graphite (I think), and a comic strip that is perhaps the best paean to Charles Schultz I've seen in a long time. There's also a candy colored computer created sequence of panels unlike anything else in the book.

One of the advantages of having a versatile artist like Mr. Rex take a book like this in hand is that you can sometimes see the same character rendered in a variety of different styles. Frankenstein and the Headless Horseman are good examples of this (though Dracula gets the serious face time here that he lacked in the last title). Old favorite characters from the first book that didn't end up with their own poems appear in the group scenes during the wedding. They also are mentioned in the list of Poems That Do Not Appear In This Volume, which struck me as both a joke and (in at least a couple cases) probably actual rejected or cut poems.

Plus you get the old attention to detail. When we see little Medusa in school, I for one really appreciated the stained drop ceiling in the classroom. Smacked of realism, it did. I liked how the poem "No One Comes to Skull Island Anymore" tried to replicate ye olde postcards circa 1955. And the advertising section (which somehow manages to rhyme the entire time) is worth the price of admission alone. Tofu gets its due.

If there is something to criticize about the book, it would have to be the poems themselves. Now now! Down! I still like the poems. Nobody's saying they aren't fun. But I'm a fan of precise rhymes and lines that scan perfectly. For the most part, Rex's poetry does this too. It may take two or three read alouds to truly understand what he's trying to accomplish, but mostly it works. Lines like "But the poem Poe composes poses problems, `cause he knows his / line on roses being roses has been written once before." It works, but you have to work on it. It isn't necessarily that these poems don't scan. They go through, but only after a little tugging and pulling on the readers' part. It would be nice if they flowed sure and smooth, but that doesn't always happen. Rex's dialogue-turned poetry may be a bit clunky and hard to read, but his haikus practically redefine the genre. If you aren't swayed by the book's backflap "A Haiku about Adam Rex" which reads, "He knows Frankenstein's / the doctor, not the monster. / Enough already," then try his Kaiju Haiku section. There you will find oddly lovely pen and inks done with just a hint of red. One that I was particularly fond of featured red blossoms, falling upon the barren earth. It's only when you refocus your eyes that you realize that you're looking at a scene of devastation, as Godzilla tramples Tokyo. It is accompanied by the poem "An autumn rampage / the sound of leaves and soldiers / crunching underfoot." Good work.

The real reason to buy the book? Where else are you going to encounter the line "Quoth the raven: `Tipper Gore'"? When I reviewed the first Frankenstein book, I pouted over Rex's overt use of random celebrities and pop culture. That's been scaled back a fair amount in this title, but not so much that he hasn't allowed himself to be silly in that way once in a while. No other author would ever think to combine the term "peep" with Edgar Allan Poe. And the Headless Horseman's blog? Maybe I'm biased, but I thought it was just swell.

I was talking with a colleague about the first Frankenstein book the other day, and she happened to mention that the problem with the book is that libraries like to shelve it in the poetry section and not with the picture books. She worried that kids would miss it entirely if it were relegated so far far away. I understand her point, but judicious hand-selling (to say nothing of Poetry Month recommendations) mean that our copies certainly circulate as much and as often as I can make them. The case will be the same for its sequel as well. By going in a new direction and pulling out artistic genres and styles hitherto unthought of, Take the Cake does its predecessor proud. Gross, cool, weird, and fun. Everything, in fact, that kids look for in a book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book really takes the cake...and in a GOOD way!!!, September 30, 2008
A Kid's Review
This book is a collection of 21 short stories which flow together and form a plot about the challenges of planning a wedding celebration for Mr. Frankenstein and his bride-to-be. Wedding guests include the headless horseman, Dracula and his son, along with little girl zombies. The excellent illustrations drew me to the book. They are very entertaining and were created by a variety of different techniques. It is an excellent picture book but I would not recommend it for children under the age of six.
My favorite story was "Please Stop Staring at My Delicious Head: The Official Blog of the Headless Horseman" because it was
really funny and well illustrated. People and birds crowded around the
headless horseman and craved his pumpkin head for eating.
The headless horseman was annoyed since he wanted people to be afraid of him not desirous of him as a yummy dessert.
I recommend this book for boys and girls, ages 8-14, who love monsters, who aren't too scary.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Older kids, July 26, 2012
What we LOVED about Frankenstein makes a Sandwich Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich was that you could understand the jokes from just a basic Scooby-Doo level of monster-knowledge. We also loved the madcap poetry, limericks, and replacement song lyrics.

There is an echo of that on the Edgar Allen Poe pages of this book, but "Takes the Cake" is less all-around joyful. Adam Rex still shows off his amazing range of illustration styles -- he must be the Weird Al Yankovich of author/illustrators. (And I mean that as a compliment. Weird Al is an original talent.)

Anyway, older kids will get a kick out of this book, but DO NOT MISS OUT ON "Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, October 5, 2011
Another great book by Adam Rex. My 9 year old daughter loved it and my 3 year old son was entertained enough by the pictures to sit still. Yes, my daughter had no idea who Edgar Allan Poe was before we read this book. She does now tho! This book will go into regular rotation until Halloween.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute, November 14, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Frankenstein Takes the Cake (Hardcover)
It's not as good as Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, but it ain't bad. It lacks the cohesive story/theme of Sandwich. But, as always, the illustrations are fab.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, August 24, 2009
This review is from: Frankenstein Takes the Cake (Hardcover)
This was probably Adam Rex's best...the sort of book you can read again and again! It's so clever; one of my favorites is the Headless Horseman's blog. The poems dedicated to Frankenstein's wedding really do take the cake! Then there's the one which features Edgar Allen Poe doing a crossword puzzle when he's supposed to be writing poetry... a seriously recommended masterpiece!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adam Rex Rocks, October 27, 2008
By 
Lyndsay Ortiz (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My kids, ages 9 & 11, love this book (as well as the previous Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich). And, well, so do I. In fact, with that first book, we laughed so hard we started coughing and had to put the book aside for few minutes to catch our breath. This newest book did't incite quite the same reaction but it is still worth the price for the illustrations alone. The rhymes don't flow as smoothly as before but heck, it's so fun just to look at the book (there's a lot to see, even in the end papers) that I couldn't bear to give it less than 5 stars. Keep it up, Mr. Rex...two kids (and a mom) here in California think you ROCK!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable book for so many reasons!, January 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Frankenstein Takes the Cake (Hardcover)
My classroom adores this book. It's neat for so many different reasons and teachers can chose so many different lessons to use the book for. I just love the pictures. It's a neat book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars YOU GOTTA GET THIS BOOK!, December 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
HILARIOUS! is the word that pops into mind as I think of reviewing this book.
We are not a family of monster addicts, but this book has real ROTFL humor on every page.
All of the Adam Rex book are like this. They have little puns or funnies all over the place.
My son bought this particular book for his big sister as a wedding gift. She still keeps it on her coffee table!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Frankenstein Takes the Cake
Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex (Hardcover - September 1, 2008)
Used & New from: $2.03
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.