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Frankenstein Takes the Cake

Frankenstein Takes the Cake

by Adam Rex

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"This gifted artist, whose clever wordplay reveals a wonderfully warped sense of comedy, has whipped up another



"This gifted artist, whose clever wordplay reveals a wonderfully warped sense of comedy, has whipped up another winner." 

                                         —School Library Journal


Jam-packed with sight gags, sly jokes, ghoulish cartoons, and spoofing, Frankenstein Takes the Cake is a great way to celebrate Halloween and "trick" kids into reading poetry. Dubbed a "fiendishly funny picture book" by Family Fun magazine, this follow-up to the bestselling Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, finds Frankenstein about to marry his undead bride. But first, he has to meet his future in-laws, and stop his best man, Dracula, from freaking out about the garlic bread. No one ever said it was easy being a monster! 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

With maniacal glee, Rex (Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich) delivers spot-on rhymes about B-movie monsters, loosely organized around the nuptials of Frankenstein and his bride. An oil painting of the wedding cake is as creamy as a Wayne Thiebaud confection, and an author bio in haiku silences quibblers: "He knows Frankenstein's/ the doctor, not the monster/ Enough already." In a digital comics sequence, Frankenstein's mother-in-law frets over her daughter's resurrection and engagement ("I'm an open-minded person.... but I never thought my little girl would marry someone green. There, I said it"); later, the Bride questions her betrothed but decides, "I'm not getting any less dead." Rex's ideal audience may be pop-culture buffs: he spoofs Peanuts with a vampiric Charlie Brown; plans the Frankensteins' reception menu around monsters' food allergies (no garlic for Dracula); sets up the Headless Horseman's photo blog on the tribulations of having a pumpkin head; and creates a running gag about "The Raven," where a sarcastic bird mocks Edgar Allan Poe. Rex's eclectic imagery and freewheeling verse will have readers going back for seconds. Ages 5-10. (Sept.)

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Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Frankenstein is getting married, and author-illustrator Adam Rex cleverly unites his new collection of monster poems around this anxiety-inducing event. After all, getting married is scary enough when your groom is a green-skinned monster—try being the caterer for a party attended by Dracula (Absolutely No Garlic!), the Creature from the Black Lagoon (don't let him overeat or he'll be floating belly up!), and werewolves (they hate silverware!). Including both classic, well-known creatures such as the Sphinx and Medusa and the lesser-known but equally sinister Mother-in-Law, Rex deftly balances humor that will appeal to children and adults. Repeated appearances by an exasperated Headless Horseman via his blog titled "Off the Top of My Head," and Edgar Allen Poe in the throes of writer's block serve as subplots and add to the story's narrative flow. An assortment of other fright-related poems, including a brilliant advertisement for a weight-loss device for witches (think Wizard of Oz) round out the collection. From the hilarious cover image of Frankenstein caught with his fingers covered in frosting to Poe's annoyed raven on the back jacket, Rex's inventive illustrations and infinitely varied artistic styles are the icing on the wedding cake. Published just in time for Halloween, this highly-anticipated sequel to Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich will delight guys and ghouls, er, girls, of all ages, as a read-aloud during story time or on their own. Additionally, young writers and artists will find ample inspiration for their own projects. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

Rex returns with a sophisticated and stylish sequel to his sidesplitting Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (Harcourt, 2006). From a stream of consciousness that seems to have retained and remixed an assemblage of horror movies, literature classes, comic strips, and observations of the human condition, the narrative flows despite multiple mediums and frequent interruptions. Children who have seen the 1935 Bride of Frankenstein will get the most out of the framing story, told initially in sequential panels and featuring the conically coiffed mate-to-be in a lively exchange with her mother over marrying someone with green skin and the looming wedding expenses coming just hours after the girl's funeral. Interspersed with the marital plot are blog posts from the Headless Horseman (exhibiting photographs of his decomposing head and the sensible canned substitute) and glimpses into Edgar Allan Poe's study, rendered in shadowy charcoals. These scenes are hilarious for students in the know. Rex channels the tortured poet's meter, internal rhyme scheme, and alliteration throughout his parody during which Poe struggles for the right choice in a crossword puzzle involving the wife of a "veep": "But what the devil is a veep?" he weeps, as lo, the clock strikes four. Quoth the raven, 'Tipper Gore.'" Godzilla haikus, a Peanuts-inspired Dracula Junior, endpapers that give the raven the last word-there's something here for the kid in everyone. This gifted artist, whose clever wordplay reveals a wonderfully warped sense of comedy, has whipped up another winner.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
A snort-inducing companion to 2006's Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, Rex's return to horror-poetry finds the green-skinned monster getting ready for his wedding, complete with a comic-strip visit to his future mother-in-law ("I'm not trying to be mean, but I never thought my little girl would be marrying someone green") and best man Dracula encountering garlic bread at the buffet. In between, Edgar Allan Poe struggles repeatedly to find a rhyme scheme, the Headless Horseman blogs about the difficulties of using a pumpkin for a head and a quartet of haiku celebrates Japanese monster cinema ("A winter wager: / Will Godzilla's tongue freeze to / Mechagodzilla?"). It's a dizzying pastiche of artistic and poetic styles that includes an advertisement for witch diet products ("...with only one bucket of water a day!") and a faux-Peanuts Sunday strip featuring a Charlie Brown-like Dracula Jr. Some of the humor will resonate more with adults than kids, but there's something in here for just about everyone-even a grouchy raven. (Picture book/poetry. 7-12)
Family Fun
“The fiendishly funny picture book FRANKENSTEIN TAKES THE CAKE, by Adam Rex, is a compilation of silly rhymes and Mad Magazine-style gags paired with gently spooky illustrations. Especially hilarious are 'Off the Top of My Head: The Official Blog of the Headless Horseman' and a trio of Edgar Allan Poe spoofs featuring a couplet-savvy raven.”—Family Fun, October 2008

From the Publisher
Praise for the bestselling Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich:

“With irreverent entries such as ‘Count Dracula Doesn’t Know He’s Been Walking Around All Night with Spinach in His Teeth,” this mash of monster poems will send kids howling (with laughter).” —Family Fun

(star) “Readers will relish every gross and hilarious entry in this monstrous menu of misadventures... Here’s a read-aloud candidate sure to elicit loud screams—but not of fright.” —Kirkus Reviews(starred)

(star) “The book is fresh, creative, and funny, with just enough gory detail to cause a few gasps. Kids will eat it up.” —School Library Journal (starred)

(star) “Rex gives readers the pleasure of discovering punch lines on their own, and his droll, ultra-detailed paintings show he takes comedy seriously.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.75(w) x 9.75(h) x 0.14(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

ADAM REX is the author and illustrator of PSSST!, TREE RING CIRCUS, FRANKENSTEIN TAKES THE CAKE, and The New York Times bestseller FRANKENSTEIN MAKES A SANDWICH. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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