Monday, January 11, 2010

Do Not Build A Frankenstein

Any book with "do not" and a monster in the title screams to be read. In Do Not Build a Frankenstein, a new kid in the neighborhood gathers the kids around to warn them about building the monster. He gives a litany of reasons why they should avoid this task.  For instance, a Frankenstein will chase away your friends and pets and break all of your toys.  The only thing you can do to avoid this is to move to a new town.  Neil Numberman provides a surprise twist at the end which makes me think of this book as perhaps a metaphor for sibling rivalry. I could be reaching on that one.

Numberman's illustrations remind me of Calvin and Hobbes and Diary of a Wimpy Kid with characters that have big heads and dinner rolls for feet. Do Not Build a Frankenstein could be used for a mini-lesson on comparing, character analysis (How does the kid change by the end of the story?), or cause and effect (what is the effect of building a monster?).  A possible extension would be to write a story about not making friends with The Wolfman or The Invisible Man.

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