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Sipping Spiders Through a Straw: Campfire Songs for Monsters Hardcover – May 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—Eighteen classic songs have been transformed here into versions that range from the silly to the slightly disgusting to the extremely gross. Such titles as "Take Me Out to the Graveyard," "Creepy, Creepy Little Jar," and "If You're Scary and You Know It, Clap Your Paws" are accompanied by watercolor and mixed-media illustrations, mainly in earth tones, that make the words seem even more revolting. Sung to the tune of "Oh My Darling, Clementine," "My Delicious Frankenstein" has lyrics like, "Oh, my crispy. Oh, my crunchy./Oh, my frosted Frankenstein./You're so yummy…in my tummy…/My delicious Frankenstein." The song is illustrated with a downtrodden-looking monster, complete with whipped cream and a cherry atop his head. He's portrayed against a red-and-white-check tablecloth and opposite a woman licking her lips and brandishing a carving knife and fork. Children will recognize all the songs parodied here, making them easy to sing. These selections may not have quite the inventiveness or creativity of some of Alan Katz and David Catrow's collections, notably Where Did They Hide My Presents? (S & S, 2005), but they certainly have appeal.—Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

DiPucchio goes for the big gross-out with nauseating success in this collection of familiar, reworded campfire songs. Using the same irreverent humor she did in Dinosnores (2005), she turns out gut-churning lyrics for 18 selections, giving them such insidiously altered titles as “Take Me Out to the Graveyard.” If there was ever a perfect accomplice to illustrate a lyric like “Do your guts hang low? Do they wobble to and fro?” it’s Grimly, who conjures an array of affable nightmares through the same twisted looking glass employed by Tim Burton, producing work that is by turns ghoulishly funny and downright disgusting—but always right on target. As in Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness (2004), which was for an older audience, Grimly balances a sense of the grotesque and disturbing with a playfulness that disarms morbidity. This grand showcase of gross-out humor is sure to have kids using the lyrics to torment friends and teachers. Grades 3-5. --Jesse Karp
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: Sipping Spiders Through a Straw
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439584019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439584012
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelly DiPucchio is the award-winning author of several children's books, including New York Times bestseller, GRACE FOR PRESIDENT, and THE SANDWICH SWAP, a book co-authored for Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, which President Bill Clinton called "a delightful story." Kelly has been a featured author/speaker at numerous schools, public libraries, universities, and conferences such as: the International Reading Association, Michigan Reading Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English. You can visit her online at www.kellydipucchio.com

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 15 customer reviews
Being able to sing along with music would be great.
ckaufman
No matter how much adults may roll their eyes, or try to steer their kids away from the "Goosebumps" books, most kids like scary stories.
A. D. Cox
The rhymes are fun and icky and my kids just love it.
GOZIPIO.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Nine's a funny age. You're all about joining the older kids, reading their chapter books, and playing their games. So there's that. On the other hand, you still have a real appreciation for truly kid-like things. You want to simultaneously grow up and remain a child. You might visit a library one day and request a book of "scary stories" only to find that Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a bit much for you. With that in mind, people are going to pick up Kelly DiPucchio's Sipping Spiders Through a Straw: Campfire Songs for Monsters and wonder who the intended audience is. The songs, or mock-songs, are fun but the pictures walk the line between the funny and the truly disgusting, sometimes falling all the way one way or the other. I tell you now that this is a picture book for the kids who are on the cusp of denying they like books with 32 pages or less and are still comfortable getting a picture book that mixes humor with pictures that wrap the funny into the scary into the anarchic into the cool.

Basically you take your basic campfire songs. Your "I've Been Working on the Railroad"s and your "Do Your Ears Hang Low"s, and you notice that very few of these songs are monster-appropriate. That's where Kelly DiPucchio and Gris Grimly come in. Rewriting the whole campfire genre, this gruesome twosome punches up the old classics with monster-friendly pictures alongside. Eighteen of the grizzly tunes are presented here with dark companion illustrations by the master of introductory Goth. They may be grossed out. They may be disgusted. One thing you readers will not be is bored.

It makes for ideal reading aloud, I can tell you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By GOZIPIO.com on April 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific book. The rhymes are fun and icky and my kids just love it. What child wouldn't love a book that encourages burping, slurping and eating your boogies......?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kirsten G. Cutler on July 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
DiPucchio, Kelly. Sipping Spiders Through A Straw: Campfire songs for Monsters. Pictures by Gris Grimly. Scholastic Press. 2008.

This book contains a mix of deliciously funny, ghoulish, and sometimes even quite gross replacement lyrics for familiar songs. "A-camping we will go with monster friends in tow" replaces the regular lyrics of "The Farmer in the Dell". Instead of singing, "Take me out to the ballgame", substitute "Take me out to the graveyard. Take me out to the tombs. Buy me worms from that Quasi named Jack. I don't care `bout that hump on his back". Be prepared for the truly disgusting, "Blow, blow, blow your nose sick and stuffy ghost. Pick it, and poke it, and pull it out, and spread it on your toast." If you do not know the original song, you will have to "Google" to learn the tune. Primarily black and brown tone watercolor and mixed media illustrations accompany the lyrics revealing figures with elongated and exaggerated appendages and spiked and scraggly hair.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kelly DiPucchio's lyrics in SIPPING SPIDERS THROUGH A STRAW: CAMPFIRE SONGS FOR MONSTERS tells of monster sing-alongs with new, fun songs set to old tunes, such as '99 Bottles of Blood on the Wall' and 'A-Camping We Will Go'. Gris Grimly's zany drawings enhance a fun set of sing-along modifications.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Three Silly Chicks on November 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's summer! And that means it's time to camp! Chicks love camping. What could be more fun than roasting marshmallows and bean dip? S'more please! Though we must confess that it's hard keeping the dip on the stick. (And yes, we use a dipstick!) Oh how we love the smell of the smoke, the crackle of the fire, and creepy campfire stories and songs. It gives us the warm fuzzies and the shivers at the same time. Delish!

So imagine our delight at finding the perfect book of songs to share with little monsters. In Sipping Spiders Through a Straw, author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Gris Grimly strike a perfect balance of funny and creepy that kids that kids will simply gobble up. DiPucchio's text turns old favorites into funny new ones like "Blow, Blow, Blow Your Nose" and "99 Bottles of Blood on the Wall," and "Take Me Out to the Graveyard." Grimly adds an edgy, dark twist to the songs with his humorously gruesome pen and ink illustrations. Perfect for kids who like a little bit of scary with a whole lot of giggles.
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Format: Hardcover
Boo! Ooooooooooo! Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Sound effects from stories best told around a campfire, or with a flashlight at the slumber party. No matter how much adults may roll their eyes, or try to steer their kids away from the "Goosebumps" books, most kids like scary stories. What's the attraction? There's a lot of deep psychology behind that answer, as well as theories from many other fields of study, but suffice it to say here that what kids seem to like best is a story or song with equal parts of scary, gross, and funny mixed in. Do you know the old story about the voice chanting, "When I get you, I'm going to eat you!" and what the chanter was really after? If you can't remember it from your childhood, ask a `tween. Be prepared: the story itself is creepy in the telling, but "ew!" in the ending.

As we turn the calendar to October, I'd recommend picking up one of these sweet new kids' books instead of all the Halloween candy that's been in the stores since Labor Day.

My new discovery this fall is "Sipping Spiders Through a Straw: Campfire Songs for Monsters" - lyrics by Kelly DiPucchio, pictures by Gris Grimly. Grimly, whose style and work is now celebrated in its own right, cites his early influences from H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and artist Edward Gorey. As for the lyrics, for those of you who have lived through "Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts" and/or "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells", as a kid yourself or as an adult now, this collection is better. Most of the words don't evoke anything too disgusting, and many are quite giggling-ly clever. Skip over any songs you don't want your kids singing, enjoy the ones you all get a laugh from, and enjoy the whimsical, strange drawings.
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