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This laugh-out-loud funny and devilish send-up of Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline is for little monsters everywhere.

Frankenstein is the scariest of all the monsters in Miss Devel's castle. He can frighten anything—animals, parents, even rocks. Until one night, Miss Devel wakes up and runs downstairs to find that Frankenstein has lost his head!

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This laugh-out-loud funny and devilish send-up of Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline is for little monsters everywhere.

Frankenstein is the scariest of all the monsters in Miss Devel's castle. He can frighten anything—animals, parents, even rocks. Until one night, Miss Devel wakes up and runs downstairs to find that Frankenstein has lost his head!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Anyone who loves Ludwig Bemelmans's classic will be howling at the moon over this witty mash-up. It's the latest in a growing crypt of hilariously wicked kids books that includes Michael Rex's Goodnight Goon and Judy Sierra's The House That Drac Built…Striking [the] devilish balance between the original and the transformed version is what makes this book—and all good parodies—so enchanting.
—Ron Charles
Publishers Weekly
Walton (Baby’s First Year!) and Hale (Animal House) beat Goodnight Goon parodist Michael Rex to a 1939 classic: Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline. Playing on the Americanized rhyme between Madeline and Frankenstein, Walton and Hale style themselves as “Ludworst Bemonster” and recast the Parisian girls’ school as a ghoulish academy: “In a creepy old castle all covered with spines,/ lived twelve ugly monsters in two crooked lines.... The ugliest one was Franken-stein.” Instead of headmistress Miss Clavel, readers get Miss Devel, a pallid scientist who sleeps on a gurney; instead of appendicitis, Frankenstein suffers from a missing head, and a voodoo doctor attaches a replacement. Frankenstein’s classmates—including a mini-Dracula, mummy, and swamp thing—are so impressed by Franken-stein’s new neck screws, they follow his example and lose their heads in the book’s inconclusive conclusion. Walton and Hale mime Bemelmans’s poetry and lithography, amplifying the grotesque and picturing stone castles in autumnal shades of pumpkin and ash. Fans of the original—unsettling in its own right, for its lack of parents and predictable comforts—will enjoy spotting the parallels in this creepy-cute Halloween substitute. Ages 4–8. (July)
From the Publisher
“Walton twists the classic rhymes of the original with glee (“In two crooked lines, they bonked their heads / pulled out their teeth / and wet their beds”) while Hale reenacts each scene with devilish mayhem.”—Booklist

"The illustrations have traded sunny yellow for pumpkin orange backgrounds and make comically sly allusions to the original title.”—Kirkus

"Fans of the original...will enjoy spotting the parallels in this creepy-cute Halloween substitute."—Publishers Weekly


"...children...will gobble this one up..."—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Twelve little monsters reside in an ancient castle with Miss Devel who watches over them. After briefly describing the fiendish habits of the young monsters, the reader meets Frankenstein, one of the twelve small monsters, and learns about his creepy behaviors, like scaring rocks and tormenting Miss Devel. One evening, there is a medical emergency at the castle, and Miss Devel calls the doctor for help. Frankenstein has lost his head so he is rushed in a hearse to the laboratory for surgical repairs. Frankenstein's little monster friends visit him and are envious of the results of Frankenstein's operation. They then find reasons for making their own surgical visits. In this parody, Walton and Hale twist and retell Bemelman's classic story, Madeline, by using Frankenstein as their main character. The illustration on the book's cover may look oddly familiar to Madeline and readers may notice the word play with the author's name, Ludworst Bemonster, which is used as the pen name for the book. Those readers who like a bit of a monster-twist to a familiar story may find this parody hilarious. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—This parody takes on the rhyme scheme, rhythm, and plot of Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline (Viking, 1967). In this version, Frankenstein "scared people out of their socks" and "…could even frighten rocks." His ugly monster classmates prowl the streets "in two crooked lines" and terrorize both the good and the bad. When Frankenstein loses his head one fateful evening, a masked Doctor Bone is summoned. Bemelmans's sunny yellow backgrounds have been exchanged for autumnal orange, the nun's habit traded for a white, militaristic lab coat and boots ensemble. The watercolor and digitally rendered monsters are more funny than scary, even at the climax, when, envious of Frankenstein's two new neck screws, his classmates shed their heads. Though the beleaguered Miss Devel tries to prevent the final page from turning, her headless charges have the last word as they raise signs of protest to readers in the final scene. The ideas and rhymes work most of the time, and the humor is irreverent and juvenile. Older children who know the earlier work will gobble this one up, proud of their literary prowess. Those who don't will think it's a silly story, perfect for Halloween. Giggles are guaranteed for both camps.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Just in time for Halloween, Walton and Hale (Twelve Bots of Christmas, 2010) combine their talents to become "Ludworst Bemonster," author of a droll parody of Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline. Mimicking the rhyme and pacing of the beloved classic, they introduce readers to "twelve ugly monsters. / In two crooked lines, they bonked their heads, / pulled out their teeth, / and wet their beds." It will surprise no one to learn that the "ugliest one was Frankenstein. / He scared people out of their socks. / He could even frighten rocks." He proves particularly challenging to Miss Devel, who late one night finds the green monster without his head. Off he goes with Dr. Bone in a horse-skeleton–drawn hearse. When the monstrous menagerie visits him at the laboratory, most "eeeeew"-inducing are the "two huge new screws" on Frankenstein's neck. The tale leaves Miss Devel to find the remaining rambunctious monsters completely silent…because "Each had lost his head!" The illustrations have traded sunny yellow for pumpkin orange backgrounds and make comically sly allusions to the original title. Whether young readers recognize the relationship to the Parisian version or not, adults will appreciate the clever yet silly send-up. Most children, however, will see this as just another funny monster book. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312553661
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 222,122
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ludworst Bemonster is the pen name for author Rick Walton and artist Nathan Hale, who got bored one Halloween and decided that their favorite children’s book would be much, much better if there were monsters in it. They both live in Provo, Utah. Visit them online at and

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Why no ending?

    We didn't really enjoy the book. It wasted its potential and my money...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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