Frankenstein Doesn't Wear Earmuffs!

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Frankenstein Doesn't Wear Earmuffs! Book Poster Image
Funny take on protective parents and eager trick-or-treater.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows the basics of trick-or-treating: dress in costume, go out in search of candy, come home and eat some.

Positive Messages

Staying warm while trick-or-treating is not such a bad idea.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The little boy is resists his parents' advice and gets angry at first but eventually comes around to their way of thinking after he sees other trick-or-treaters wearing mittens, scarves, and fuzzy hats. In terms of representation, his family has brown skin, and the diverse kids he sees on the street have a variety of skin tones. Frankenstein has green skin. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that author-illustrator John Loren's Frankenstein Doesn't Wear Earmuffs! is a fun take on Halloween night, when a young boy gets dressed up as Frankenstein and sees himself as a big scary monster, but his mom and dad still see him as a little kid who needs to dress warmly before he goes out trick-or-treating. Parents and kids will relate to this common holiday conflict/concern. And it's treated here with great humor, imagination, and illustrations.

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What's the story?

A boy dresses as Frankenstein for Halloween and imagines himself rampaging through a "dark and stormy" landscape -- until he's brought back to reality by his parents insisting he add a parka, scarf, waterproof boots, a lantern, and, yes, earmuffs to keep him safe and warm while trick-or-treating. He rebels and shouts, "Frankenstein doesn't wear earmuffs!" and goes out on his own. The story alternates between scary-movie-type scenes of giant Frankenstein stomping through town and the reality of a little boy in his house or running into other trick-or-treaters in his neighborhood. Once he sees they are wearing mittens, sweaters, and fuzzy hats along with their costumes, he accepts the boots, scarf, and even the earmuffs. "So Frankenstein wore earmuffs/ on that night so grim and ghostly./ And dark and stormy Halloween/ was pretty warm and toasty."

Is it any good?

This fun, fresh look at Halloween night spoofs both parents' protective streak and kids' resistance to cautious measures that would keep a child warm and safe. The story is told in zippy rhymes and playfully illustrated, emphasizing the changing emotions of both the boy and his imagined self as Frankenstein. The back and forth between imagination and reality is a clever, entertaining motif, and should be easy to grasp, even for little ones.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Halloween night is shown in Frankenstein Doesn't Wear Earmuffs!  Does it look like Halloween in your neighborhood?

  • How do you like the way the pictures go back and forth between showing the boy as Frankenstein and as a kid dressed up as Frankenstein? What's fun about pretending to be a scary monster? 

  • What kind of costumes do you like to wear for Halloween -- funny or scary? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Halloween stories

Themes & Topics

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