Monster Mash

( 2 )


The "Monster Mash" was a graveyard smash--and now it's a picture book by David Catrow!

The "Monster Mash" gets Wolf Man, zombies, and other monsters to dance and party in this catchy, classic song. Dracula rises out of his coffin, vampires feast in the master bedroom, and the ghouls get a jolt from Boris's electrodes.

This "graveyard smash" caught on in a flash, and it became the hit of the land. The song, written in 1962 by Bobby "Boris" ...

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The "Monster Mash" was a graveyard smash--and now it's a picture book by David Catrow!

The "Monster Mash" gets Wolf Man, zombies, and other monsters to dance and party in this catchy, classic song. Dracula rises out of his coffin, vampires feast in the master bedroom, and the ghouls get a jolt from Boris's electrodes.

This "graveyard smash" caught on in a flash, and it became the hit of the land. The song, written in 1962 by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and Lenny Capizzi, has gone on to sell over 4 million copies. Fifty years later, David Catrow takes it to new heights as a picture book, with his fun and wacky illustrations that are sure to get kids singing and "mashing" along.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this homage to the 1962 classic Halloween song, a blobby scientist is working in his lab when his Hollywood-style Frankenstein’s monster starts dancing the Monster Mash. Soon he’s joined by Wolfman, Dracula, guitar-playing skeletons (the Crypt-Kicker Five), and creatures with an assortment of tentacles, pincers, horns, and eyes. Catrow’s outlandish aesthetic is well suited to the absurdity of the song’s lyrics, and he doesn’t hold back—his oozing, decaying, sharp-fanged creations may well prove too scary for more timid readers. Braver kids, though, should still find it a graveyard smash. Ages 3–8. (July)
From the Publisher

Praise for Max Spaniel: FUNNY LUNCH
"Catrow's watercolor illustrations are exuberant and clever, full of humorous details that kids will love to discover."-SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Max Spaniel: DINOSAUR HUNT was a 2010 Maryland Blue Crab Beginning Fiction Honor Book.

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
A Halloween favorite is Pickett and Capizzi's tune, Monster Mash, which came out in 1962. In his illustrations, Catrow comically portrays the monsters and ghouls doing the monster mash. As in the song, the book begins with a mad scientist in his laboratory with tubes, beakers, and flasks filled with colorful, bubbling concoctions. During the late hours, the scientist's monster comes to life, rises from the slab, and begins to create some flashy new dance steps. Charged up by the electrodes, vampires, ghouls, and other monsters spread the new dance craze called the monster mash. An envious Dracula wakes to remind the monsters about the Transylvania twist; however, the monster mash continues to prevail as the Crypt-Kicker Five, a vocal group, rock on with the monster mash. Dracula sees no choice but to join the band and the craze. Although the pictures are funny, some young children may be sensitive to some of the ghoulish monsters portrayed. Children familiar with the tune will probably love to join in and sing along with the verses. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Using the words from the 1962 novelty song "Monster Mash," Catrow has created a hilarious picture book with inventive illustrations. Electrifying pictures on spreads with minimal text explode the lyrics into a (not) terrifying book that monster fans will cherish. The artwork shows everything readers might think would frighten them in a humorous light. The detailed pictures are created with pen, pencil, watercolors, and gouache. For example, the lyrics "The coffin-bangers/were about to arrive/with their vocal group/The Crypt-Kicker Five" are set against a picture of a skeleton dragging a fiery vehicle loaded with several pairs of pink eyes as it passes in front of an enormous Swiss cheese moon on its way to a drawbridge that leads into a spooky castle. This title will work as a read-aloud, but kids are going to want to spend a lot of time looking at the illustrations. It is a book for every library with readers who celebrate Halloween.—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Union, Washington & Waldoboro, MEH
Kirkus Reviews
Luring readers with a golden, holographic display type for the title and a grooving green monster on the cover, Catrow pairs his freakishly imaginative artwork with the lyrics to the perennial favorite. The entire song serves as the rhythmic text in this over-the-top visual experience. Adults who read this aloud will find it difficult not to sing it instead, but a slower oral pace is necessary so that younger eyes can take in the decadently gruesome, bizarre and otherwise weird things that populate the pages. The surreal images are created with a combination of pencil, watercolor, gouache and ink. Kids will either cringe or be fascinated by the spiderlike eyeball with blood vessel trailing behind, the skull with two eyes in one socket outfitted with an octopus bottom or the huge Venus flytrap/insect hybrid. The party reaches a crescendo when the coffin bangers arrive with "The Crypt-Kicker Five," and out come emaciated rocker skeletons riffing on guitars and impressing with gyrating moves à la the Rolling Stones. On the final pages, two normal kids and a dog come to the door of the creepy castle…and "catch on in a flash" when doing the "monster mash." Reserve this for older preschoolers and primary-grade children who may need a fun outlet for candy-fueled Halloween craziness. Clever and odd--but ultimately not essential. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545214797
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 572,847
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David Catrow is the award-winning illustrator of numerous books for children, including the Max Spaniel series, MONSTER MASH, and TAKE ME OUT OF THE BATHTUB AND OTHER SILLY DILLY SONGS. He lives in Springfield, Ohio, with his wife, Debbie, and their dogs.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A visual take on the classic Halloween song

    Using the popular Halloween song, “Monster Mash”, David Castrow provides vivid illustrations to accompany the lyrics. Filled with colorful ghosts, monsters, and even wacky scientist, Castrow creates a silly visual representation. Monster Mash will make a fun read to follow along with when listening to the song.
    Recommended for readers age 1 and up.

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    Posted September 22, 2013

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