- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (July 28, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061568163
- ISBN-13: 978-0061568169
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.2 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Do Not Build a Frankenstein! Hardcover – July 28, 2009
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—This pointless book starts with a boy yelling hysterically to get the attention of a crowd of kids. "Do Not Build a Frankenstein!" he admonishes to anyone who will listen. He is speaking from his own experience. Sure, it was fun having a giant monster to play with at first, but he soon tired of him breaking toys, scaring friends away, and following him everywhere. The only solution was to move to a new town, but not really, because Frankenstein finds him anyway. And the kids ignore the boy and run off to play with the monster. End of story. The cartoon children are drawn with skinny bodies, big round heads, and exaggerated expressions. Frankenstein has a giant green torso atop spindly legs with a pin-sized head. Stick with Ed Emberley's Go Away, Big Green Monster! (Little, Brown, 2005) and skip this Frankenstein.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
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“This is a light, fun, and awfully cute intro to the famous horror icon.” (ALA Booklist)
“Numberman is a nimble, funny writer, and he opts for showing rather than telling, his naïf watercolors scoring a punch line every time.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
Top customer reviews
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One reviewer complained that this is not true to the original Mary Shelley book in which the creator of the monster was Dr. Frankenstein, not the monster itself, but this book "Do not build a Frankenstein" is for a child of around five and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is more for a pre-teen, so I do not see how this difference is a problem. Parents can use this book to explain that there is an original story which is different from this one, if they like. There are often deviations from literature in popular culture, this can be the start of a conversation with your child about other books and is not a problem. Any interest children show in reading is positive, I think.
I have to agree *somewhat* with another reviewer regarding the calling of The Monster, "Frankenstein" and this book only further cements the mistaken belief that The Monster of Mary Shelley's novel was violent and even had a name. I've have attempted to correct this error over the years with my elementary students, but pretty much to no avail. When I do mention it, they let me know that "Yes" they know it was the doctor's name, but would prefer to the image of the Monster as a MONSTER named Frankenstein. Though, I do use these conversations as a history lesson as to the time period and the context in which Shelley created her novel. Most express shock when they learn she was only 19 when she wrote it.
Otherwise, just enjoy this fun book like I did.
There is as much to look at and appreciate in the gorgeous and hilarious drawings as there is to read and act out in the delightful words. Each aspect adds a layer of enjoyment to the other in a way i have not seen in any other picture book for children. More often than not, books use pictures as a redundant retelling of what you just read. Here Numberman weaves complimentary jokes throughout the tale of a young boy who learns a very important lesson about the nature of friends. i have not had this much fun reading a children's book since Grover's "The Monster At The End Of This Book" Numberman is an absolute talent to watch, and a treasure on the shelf.