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Frankenstein Takes the Cake Hardcover – September 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—Rex returns with a sophisticated and stylish sequel to his sidesplitting Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (Harcourt, 2006). From a stream of consciousness that seems to have retained and remixed an assemblage of horror movies, literature classes, comic strips, and observations of the human condition, the narrative flows despite multiple mediums and frequent interruptions. Children who have seen the 1935 Bride of Frankenstein will get the most out of the framing story, told initially in sequential panels and featuring the conically coiffed mate-to-be in a lively exchange with her mother over marrying someone with green skin and the looming wedding expenses coming just hours after the girl's funeral. Interspersed with the marital plot are blog posts from the Headless Horseman (exhibiting photographs of his decomposing head and the sensible canned substitute) and glimpses into Edgar Allan Poe's study, rendered in shadowy charcoals. These scenes are hilarious for students in the know. Rex channels the tortured poet's meter, internal rhyme scheme, and alliteration throughout his parody during which Poe struggles for the right choice in a crossword puzzle involving the wife of a "veep": "But what the devil is a veep?" he weeps, as lo, the clock strikes four. Quoth the raven, 'Tipper Gore.'" Godzilla haikus, a Peanuts-inspired Dracula Junior, endpapers that give the raven the last word-there's something here for the kid in everyone. This gifted artist, whose clever wordplay reveals a wonderfully warped sense of comedy, has whipped up another winner.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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From Booklist

Dynamic and dreadfully funny, this companion to Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (2006) continues to follow the exploits of Frankenstein (the monster, not the doctor) and a ragtag cast of monsters in loosely connected scenes, all illustrated in diverse styles and written in a variety of forms, most of them rhyming. Frank’s betrothal bookends the magazine-like segments, beginning with a chapter in comics format in which he visits his fiancée’s parents, followed by another chapter, at the book’s end, with a more traditional picture-book format presentation of Dracula’s unfortunate encounter with garlic bread at the wedding reception. In between, the headless horseman updates his blog, and there are recurring vignettes of Edgar Allan Poe’s creative process, to which the raven quoth: “What a bore.” Not just for Halloween, nor just for the young, this offers everyone something to laugh about, from jokes about the Sphinx using the expansive desert as a litter box to alien e-mail spam (that would be “E.T.-Mail,” of course) promising “bigger  . . . antennae.” The quick pacing and dynamic design will appeal to all attention spans, and so next the raven should quoth: “We want more!”

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152062351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152062354
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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!
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Format: Hardcover
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."
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