Review: Does Frankenstein Get Hungry?

does frankenstein get hungry

From Penguin Random House: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/538536/does-frankenstein-get-hungry-by-john-solimine/9780399546419
About Does Frankenstein Get Hungry?
In this monstrously funny picture book, an inquisitive young girl with some pressing questions proves these creatures may not be so scary after all.

Tucked up in her bed, a little girl wonders about the creatures rumored to go bump in the night. But instead of pulling the covers over her head, she comes up with a list of important questions, like:

Does Frankenstein get hungry?

Does Dracula floss his fangs?

Does the boogeyman have boogers?

Does the thing that lives beneath my bed get lonely under there?

With each inquiry, the little girl’s confidence grows–proving monsters are no match for her imagination! From debut talent John Solimine, this laugh-out-loud picture book has all the silly and gentle reassurance kids need for a good night’s sleep.

This book is adorable, funny, and sure to make young ones (and older ones too) smile. The release of this book in mid-August set it up perfectly to be a great confidence booster for our young children who are about to be inundated with imagery of monsters and spooky things for the fall season. I love that this book draws the young readers in and they want to know what the next question will be, they want to know who will be in the next image. I received this book in mid-August and the students in my classroom (who range from pre-k – high school) have been picking it up and enjoying the message and illustrations ever since.

However, I do have one major issue with the book and that is that the rhythm of the words falls apart in a few places. A big part of children’s literacy in the early stages is the prediction of rhythm and words on the upcoming pages and when that rhythm breaks down for a second, it can cause issues for the emergent readers. While this book does have a great rhythm, the cadence in a couple of places seems to stutter and pull readers out of the story for a moment. This is not, by any means, a large detractor from the book itself and I still highly recommend that you pick this up to read with the tiny people in your lives.

I give Does Frankenstein Get Hungry a 3.75 out of 5 dragons. Munch on Frankenstein’s Monster…munch on.

**I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.**

Happy NaNoWeen!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

You know, I look forward to this day every single year. Not just because of the large bags of candy I can purchase without the cashiers giving me strange looks, and not just for the costumes and movies, which I adore, but because the last few days of October turn cool and crisp and stormy…and help build my anticipation for November.

My daughter loves super heroes (like mother like daughter!) and so we have a very super themed costume year. She got a Ninja Turtles costume, then chose to wear her Batgirl outfit instead (totally understandable!) and I…well I cobbled together a few things and became: A SUPER WRITER!!! (theme song to written later).

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As you can see, I have my notebook and pen at the ready in order to catch any stories that might come my way. My boom, bang, conversation bubble leggings are just begging for more super characters, and my masks: every good super hero must protect at least part of their identity, right? (*Side Note* My mother said ‘Oh! You’re a MYSTERY writer!)

You may be asking yourself why in the world I would choose this particular get up for the day…well, there are a couple of reasons. #1 I am a writer, so why not be a SUPER writer (muahaha, you knew that was coming). #2 My 3 year old daughter watches the Super Readers show and said to me one day, “Mama, you’re not just a super reader, YOU ARE A SUPER WRITER!” I liked that. and finally #3 NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. I am writing a story like I’ve never written before. Not just the content, parts of which will be surprisingly similar to previous stories, I’m afraid, but also the target age group and the way I am putting the novel together. So, I might need to be reminded of my inner superhero by the end of the month, er, weekend.

This will be my 8th year (I believe) to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Most of you probably already know about NaNoWriMo, the month in which people from all over the globe log in their word counts and frantically attempt to reach at least 50,000 words in a single story, or group of works if you’re a rebel. 😉

I have won a few of the past seven years, I have fallen just shy of winning for a couple, and there may have been one or two of them that included a woefully shameful shortcoming (one year I didn’t even hit the ten thousand mark). The stress of everyday life can have a huge effect on your ability or desire to push yourself to write at all, let alone get to the *at least* 1,677 words a day you need to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. So why am telling you this?

I am telling you about this because whether or not I won a year, I still wrote. I still discovered at least a few of the beautiful words that lurked deep in the dark recesses of my heart and mind. I still made connections, I still worked hard, and I still reminded myself of my dreams. Yes, even if I failed it wasn’t really a failure because I can look back and see where I was, how far I’ve come, and even the steps I’ve taken to secure the hopes I had way back when. I hope that you are all able to find a way to do that for whatever your hopes and dreams are! No matter the stress or upheaval such an intense month might cause, the rewards, in my opinion, outweigh any issues that I’ve come across so far. I have made year long writing buddies, learned amazing things about my craft (and myself), and found even better ways to annoy my friends and family! (YAY NANO!!)

If you would like to learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org

If you are (or will be) participating this year and would like to add me as a writing buddy, go for it! I’m known as writerbaby13

If you would like to be kept apprised of my writing progress and/or the story I’m going to be pushing through this year, keep it tuned in to this blog or check out http://www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes (don’t forget to ‘like’ the page…and keep checking both sites!)

Writer Quote Wednesday – Burtonisms

This is a weekly challenge posted by the incredible Colleen over on her blog, Silver Threading. See this week’s post HERE. Now Silver Threading has partnered up with Ronovan Writes so that Writer Quote Wednesday and #BeWoW (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) are connected! I am excited to begin participating in Ronovan’s #BeWoW movement…(and as a reviewer but that news can wait 😀 ). Check out #BeWoW right HERE

On to the Quotes! Since this is October 28th and Halloween, my favorite holiday, is coming up quickly, I thought I would focus on one of my favorite film directors, producers, artist, author, and animator…Tim Burton! His dark whimsical style is, to me, at once magical, macabre, and memorable. I mean, come on, how many other people can you think of that are capable of creating such amazingly different and creepy places…and then making even the most stoic of scary movie goers fall in love with the romances he seamlessly weaves into it. As long as you try to ignore the amount of times he’s had his best mate, Johnny Depp, kill his wife, Helena Bonham Carter, in his movies.

This beautifully hand drawn piece by freutcake.com is quite suitable for an equally beautiful quote from the Gothic Grandiose….Dream your dreams, pursue your vision, and allow yourself to succeed!

Some people need to hide who they are every day and only appear really and truly for Halloween…and then some of us are merely weird, strange, and wonderfully different all year long. I am proud to be a ‘some of us…’ Beautiful and true…at least for me. What about you?

Finally…we are all somehow deeply connected to whatever it is that shaped us up. The things we saw as a child, whether they are good or not so great, move us. I have an affinity for 80s cartoons and flannel…I was born in ’85. What are you holding on to?

Thirsty Thursday

In honor of Halloween (my favorite holiday falling during my favorite time of year!) my student writing prompts all week have been pointed a little toward good spook…ok, a funny one!

Monday the prompt was about respect so we’ll skip that one. but Tuesday, ah Tuesday, the kids had to describe a monster…A NASTY HIDEOUS BEAST…who turns out to be nice. Like Frankenstein’s Monster with a gimp and drooling acid who is also the best math tutor in the country and helps kids pass tests for nothing more than a smile and pass from the angry mob chasing him out of town.

Wednesday we discussed why in the world a mob of cats would be stealing all of the candy from the houses already prepared for Halloween night (Cat Burglars…get it?? Only 1 of my 80 kids did.)

Today our Prompt is to write a recipe for the family Halloween party punch. SO far I’ve seen old socks, eyeballs, toe nails, and sherbet put in those recipes. I’m really looking forward to that drink!

Since we’re preparing for NaNoWriMo my students are also learning to count their output and worry more about the LENGTH of their writing; something I’ve been trying to get them to watch out for since the beginning of school. The best part about it is that they have seen and heard how excited I am about writing…and about NaNo…that they have all designed and put away their inner editors and are asking to start early. The bad news is that they’ll really be tired of it by week 2, especially since Ms. Tyree is going for NaNo gold again this year on top of pushing and helping them to reach their personal goals.

What are you doing this week? Are you prepping for NaNo like we are? Did you read something really great that you want to share? Did you read my books ;)? I can’t wait to hear from you all!

Getting to the “Bones” of Writing

Being home with a sick family today has given me the gift of a little extra time. As both my daughter and father are sleeping at the moment, I’m taking the time to look through my tentative lesson plans and see what interesting ideas pop up and, surprise surprise, I almost immediately had an epiphany.

As we get down to the real meat of writing in the coming nine weeks, my students will need to tap in to prior knowledge in order to really understand how written pieces come together, so that they can write their own (amazing!) pieces. Since we’re in the middle of October, what better way to could there be to start this discussion than to incorporate Science (anatomy), Art, and Writing in a hands on class discussion about the “Bones of a Story”?

Give each student a copy of a paper skeleton pattern (such as this one I found on Pinterest)

Introduce the basics of the skeleton they’re holding, i.e. the arms, legs, skull, spine, etc. and relate it to writing by way of a transition sentence such as “Just as Our Bodies need a Skeleton to build muscles upon, every written piece needs its author to provide similar bones to build words on.”

Then have an ‘open discussion’ (class discussion) about what the ‘bones’ of a good story might be. Tell the students that throughout the discussion they should choose the ‘story bones’ that sound the most important to them, and write them on one of the skeleton’s pieces. At the end of the discussion each student will cut out and assemble their newly formed ‘writer’s skeleton’.

I will be using this in conjunction with an anchor chart of a (Haunted House!) so that all of our thoughts on the bare bones of writing will be recorded, whether or not the students include everything on their skeletons. At the end of the class, we’ll hang their works of art on the back wall with the filled in anchor chart…with 4 classes of 5th graders this should decorate my classroom for Halloween without too much effort!

Though I teach fifth grade, this is a lesson that can be transferred to almost any age group (Even pre-k and kindergarten!) and any subject without too much effort. The best thing about it, in my opinion, is the great opportunity for you, the teacher, to HAVE FUN WITH IT! When you have fun with learning, the students will too. Enthusiasm, much like the cold, is contagious!

I hope that you have fun if you choose to use this idea, and would love to hear how the kids like it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

**My beginning speech to get minds rolling in this activity will be something similar to “Welcome to Ms. Tyree’s House of Horror’ibly Great Writing! Today we will be discussing the basic parts, or BONES, of a good story. Just like our bodies needs the skeletal system to build up into a person, every story needs it’s own basic (skeletal) structure. 

Each of you should have a set of pages in front of you (the jointed skeleton pattern). Turn those over and take a look. See how those will fit together to form an articulated skeleton?    As we discuss the ‘bones’ of a good story today, I want you to choose your favorite options for a writing skeleton, and put each one of them on one of the bones in front of you. (It does not have to be EVERYTHING that we talk about, JUST THE ONES THAT YOU FEEL STRONGEST ABOUT!) 

Any questions? If not, lets go ahead and start with what you think are the basic bones of a story. (At this point I will be opening the floor up for students to begin interacting with me. Depending on the mood, attitude, and behavior in each particular class that day, they may be allowed to come up and write their choices on the board OR I may do all the writing)