Publishers WeeklyIn this sequel to Frankie Stein, the titular towhead doesn’t just look different from his green-skinned, Frankenstein monster parents--he looks different from all the kids at Miss Wart’s Academy. At first, Frankie has a hard time making friends (“Ewwwww,” complains Wilma, a young witch. “I’m not sitting next to him. He looks weird!”). But soon he’s out-scaring his skeleton and vampire classmates with grotesque faces, coyote calls, and fang-growing potions, proving that how you look isn’t who you are. In spite of all the spookiness (and misbehavior), Schaefer’s story remains lighthearted, due in large part to Atteberry’s lively cartoons. Ages 5-8. (July)
Frankie Stein shows his classmates that he can be the scariest of all.
Children's Literature - Leona IlligThis book, the second in the "Frankie Stein" series, describes Frankie's first day at school. Parents who are familiar with the old "Munsters" television series will recognize the premise: an ordinary-looking, average child is raised by a family of funny monsters. In this case, Frankie, a normal boy with blond hair, is sent by his monster parents to Miss Wart's Academy for Ghouls and Goblins. Of course, he stands out from the rest of the kids and doesn't fit in. When the other young ghouls begin teasing him, however, he decides to fight back. He decides to become as scary as they are by making terrible faces, painting frightening pictures, and yelping like a coyote. When he mixes a magic potion and grows two fangs of his own, he has definitely proved to the rest of the kids that he is indeed one of them. Frankie happily states at the end of the book that he has "made a lot of new, frightening friends." The advertisement for this book states that the story shows that "popularity depends on more than how you look" and that Frankie proves that "he's happiest when he is himself." These are both laudable lessons. After reading this book, however, it is hard to escape the impression that Frankie made friends not by standing up and being proud of who he was but, instead, by acting just like everyone else. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library JournalK-Gr 2—When Frankie is born to parents who look like members of the Addams Family, his blond hair and pink cheeks make him seem like an outsider. At night school—Miss Wart's Academy for Ghouls & Goblins—the kids make fun of him for being different, but he assures them he can be as scary or scarier than they are. And he is. He wins a black star for contorting his face and transforms his looks with glow-in-the-dark chalk when the other students color on paper. He makes a horrible sound like a coyote, and in the science corner he creates a fang-growing potion. By the end of his first night, the others are imitating Frankie and he has a new group of friends. Atteberry's digitally rendered illustrations are bright and cheerfully frightening with lots of smiling faces. They perfectly support Schaefer's amusing text. The use of vocabulary like "grotesque," "bloodcurdling," and "ghoulish" is a wonderful challenge for young readers. This follow-up to Frankie Stein (Marshall Cavendish, 2007) is a delightful choice for an October storytime.—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
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