This ebook includes audio narration.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!
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)
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
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.