Kathrina's Reviews > Frankenstein Takes the Cake

Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex
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Apr 28, 11

bookshelves: books-i-read-with-my-kids

My 11-year-old brought this home from the library, drawn to it as it is written by his current FAVORITE AUTHOR EVER, Adam Rex. The plan was that he would read it aloud to me and his 8-year-old brother. The result was not expected: 11-year-old loved the humor, got most of the jokes, appreciated the satire, but frequently bound himself up in grammatical misreadings and inattention to requisite punctuation. We learned that reading poetry aloud, even guffaw-causing casual rhyme, is not the same thing as reading prose aloud. I found myself frequently reading over his shoulder to clarify missed meanings caused by run-on sentences and overlooked wordplay. Meanwhile, my 8-year-old was zoned out and bored, the humor so out of bounds from his own experience, and locked out by rather sophisticated grammar gymnastics. Spoofs of Edgar Allen Poe are a hard pass for 8-year-olds reading Silverstein. Really, I think I enjoyed this one more than they -- I felt almost guilty snickering at such things as the Melting Witch Diet -- what, what's so funny? Once I explained the advertising writing style, the mail-order con, the literary allusion to witches and Oz, well, admittedly, it just wasn't funny anymore. E-mails from Martians extolling performance-enhancing drugs? Not part of a kid's world. So beware, this is sophisticated humor for experienced readers, camouflaged in a goofy picture book format.
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