Making Friends With Frankenstein: A Book of Monsterous Poems and Pictures

Book review by
Jennifer Gennari, Common Sense Media
Making Friends With Frankenstein: A Book of Monsterous Poems and Pictures Book Poster Image
Some kids love gross, crude, and scary poems.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

One poem is a long list of insults such as "dweeb," "dope," "fathead," and "pizza face."


An ogre eats people; a zombie bites someone's head off.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that gross, crude, and scary poems may attract certain kids. Parents may find some of the humor a little grisly for young kids.

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What's the story?

Cockroaches, ogres, dinosaurs, and vampires haunt the pages of this poetry collection. Designed to be more silly than scary, the poems are filled with the kind of humor fourth-graders and fifth-graders love. Gory and gross jokes may turn parents off, but they keep kids giggling.


Is it any good?

Parents may find the humor in this collection of poems a little grisly and inappropriate for younger children, but middle-grade students will lap up these pages. Colin McNaughton is a master of the pun -- at least the kind that circulates in elementary school. In one poem, a child helps a monster who has literally "lost his head." Cleverly, "The Ode to the Invisible Man" is on a blank page.

Unfortunately, a few poems fall flat. The poem to send to your worst enemy is a simple list of playground insults such as "fleabag" and "pizza face." The illustrations, which alternate between double-page scenes and smaller vignettes, keep the collection light. A few feature blood and vomit, but mostly the monsters are comical, hairy, and wart-covered. They help remind parents that this collection is all in good fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about making scary things funny. Monsters are usually supposed to be scary -- why aren't they frightening in this book?

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