I Like My Robots With a Little Zombie, a Little Frankenstein, and Definitely Some Pie
Title: Robot Zombie Frankenstein
Author: Annette Simon
Genre: Picture book, Halloween, Awesomeness
Age: Any, really
I love this book! I love it so much that I think I screamed the first time I read it. Here, don’t listen to me. Listen to the awesome prose:
“Robot?” (one of the robots leaves)
“Robot ZOMBIE!” (He comes back dressed as a zombie. The other one leaves.)
“Robot zombie FRANKENSTEIN!” (He comes back dressed as a zombie Frankenstein.)
This continues until they are both dressed as Robot Zombie Frankenstein pirate superhero-in-disguise outer space invader chefs. And then there is cherry pie. That is shared. In just a few words (the new picture book is the minimalist picture book), Robot Zombie Frankenstein is truly “a tale of competition, friendship, and pie.”
Two great follow-ups to this book. One is art. Cut out a bunch of shapes in different colors and let your little ones assemble robots. Watching how the shapes fit together will not only give them spatial awareness and teach some beginning geometry concepts, but they will be doing art, flexing their creative muscles, and having fun to book!
Another option is more literary and would be fun for home-schoolers or a classroom teacher. While I do LOVE this book AND it’s zen-like prose which is perfect for this particular story, it would be interesting to ask budding writers how it could have been written in story form. Example, rewriting the lines quoted above: Once upon a time there were two robots. They saw each other and smiled. But then one of them left. The other robot wondered where he had gone. He was sad that his new friend had disappeared so quickly. But wait! Here he was again. But something is different … what is it? He’s dressed as a zombie! Etc…
If I’m not conveying its awesomeness strongly enough, here’s the trailer.
Happy reading! And artsying! And rewriting! And while you are here, tell me what YOU think about the trend for picture books these days to be so minimalistic in their word usage.
About the Author:
Wendy Lawrence is a Seattle native who is now living with her husband and two young sons in Ann Arbor, Mich. A longtime educator and former middle school head at Eastside Prep in Kirkland, she now blogs about parenting and books at The Family That Reads Together.