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Comment: Cover shows mild signs of wear, number written on inside cover in marker, otherwise solid copy
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Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance Paperback – August 17, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Reprint edition (August 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811854523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811854528
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 3 year old recites this book 24/7. Frank is a lovable, if not bizarre, old little man monster that keeps my daughter in stitches. The rhythm of this book is very natural and fun, and is an absolute must-read every night before bed!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is awesome! It's funny and cute. My son has asked me to read it so much, that now he "reads" it himself because he has it mostly memorized. Gotta love rhyming books for that! I highly, highly recommend this book! I got it as a Kindle Deal of the Day and now I want to find more by this auther.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the moment I saw this book I have been intriqued. I can nkt wait to read it to my grandchildren! They all like to dance( I think the "ants in the pants ") will have them rolling on the floor. The boys love mknsters and the oldest is able to read some of his own books. One happy gramma. Thank you Keith Graves, I am ordering more of your books 3 are in my Amazon cart now.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My sons ages two and six, LOVE this book. And, as a parent, I LOVE IT too. Illustrations are great; story is amusing with a great message. Since it arrived, we read it at least twice daily, and my sons have it memorized.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My kids love this, and we had checked it out so many times from the library I had to buy it. It is kind if creepy as his brain falls out at one point, but my kids love stuff like that for some reason. My girls are 5 and 4 now, and after three years of reading this book they still love it. Again, it is creepy in a still kid appropriate way, so some parents might object. We are ok with it though.
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