Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book #28: Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance by Keith Graves

Image from Chronicle Books

Frank was a monster who wanted to dance. So he gets all gussied up, throws some ants in his pants, and he’s off to the theater. There he wows the audience with his spectacular moves, until his brain begins to unzip. It’s all downhill from there, with an eyeball bouncing away and arms falling out of sleeves. The audience flees in terror, but Frank just says to himself with a one-eyed glance, “I might be a monster, but man can I dance!”

Yes, this book is a little bit gruesome and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It never fails to elicit screams of “eeeewww” and “gross!” when Frank’s brain falls onto the floor. However, if you’ve got a room full of kindergarten or elementary age boys, this book will not fail you. The rhyming text is short and catchy, just a sentence or two per page. The illustrations are a bit ridiculous, like Frank, and are full of kooky cars, orange spotted brains, and Frank’s lopsided grin. 

I found this book while looking for boy-friendly additions to a storytime about dancing. There are lots of stories with ballerinas and tutus, but a dancing monster is quite novel. You can also reuse this story for a Halloween theme, and follow it up with some dancing  to the Monster Mash.

There are some great patterns for quick and easy monster feet, which would be a fun follow up craft. Try some Foam Monster Feet or some Tissue Box Monster Feet.

Finally, Frank has a number of body parts that fall off, so this can be a silly addition to a body parts storytime. If you have an elementary school crowd, try singing Oh, Chester. Each time you sing the verse through you replace one of the words by touching a body part. For instance, instead of singing “Chester”, you would touch your chest. 

Oh,  Chester
Oh, Chester, have you heard about Harry?
Just got back from the army.
I hear he knows how to wear his clothes.
Hip-hip-hooray for the army!



  1. This is one of my favorite books! Thanks for reviewing it, Amy Musser!

  2. Hi, I've discovered your blog via Playing By the Book. That book looks so much fun, I think my boy would love it! (and probably my girl too, she also loves gross gruesomeness!)