Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich

"Not again!" you are no doubt thinking.  "You already taught us how to make three different types of sandwiches!"  Well, yes.  But this blog is as much about the books as it is about the food, and if you need a reason to get excited about sandwiches, this is a good one.

The full title of this book, including the subtitle, is Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich, and other stories you're sure to like, because they're all about monsters, and some of them are also about food. You like food, don't you? Well, all right then.  (Is that not the coolest title ever?  I love it when books talk to me as if they can hear me answering their questions.)  In brief, it's a book of poems written and illustrated by Adam Rex, all of which feature monsters - Dracula, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Bigfoot, and so on - and many of which feature food.  And all of which, I might add, are awesome.

Our book opens with a forlorn-looking Frankenstein's monster looking through an empty cabinet.  The text lets us know the story: "When Frankenstein / prepared to dine / on ham-and-cheese on wheat, / he found instead / he had no bread / (or mustard, cheese, or meat)." Oh, no!  Poor guy!  The poem follows him going to the neighbors to borrow some ingredients, but - alas! - he is a monster, and they got spooked, and threw their garbage at him.  Rather than being upset, though, Frankie realizes that the neighbors have made a mound of food, which he takes and makes into a sandwich.  Mmmmm, dinner!

As the book progresses, we learn that "The Yeti Doesn't Appreciate Being Called Bigfoot" (and "Bigfoot Can't Believe You Called Him Yeti Just Now"), we find out what's in "The Lunchsack of Notre Dame," we watch as everyone is too scared to tell Dracula that he has spinach in his teeth, and we're invited to watch as The Phantom of the Opera keeps trying to write a new song, but he just can't get other songs out of his head.  And, of course, "The Mummy Won't Go To His Eternal Rest Without A Story And Some Cookies."

Take a look at the artwork on the cover here - beautiful!
(Or, for a better look, here: )
Every single image in the book is just as well done, and if that wasn't enough, each monster's poems (which are each written in a different style) are illustrated in a different way - some pen and ink, some line drawings, some colorfully and intricately painted.  It really is worth a look or three.  

Mr. Rex has also written a book called Frankenstein Takes The Cake, in which we meet the Bride of Frankenstein and the couple's assembled friends and family as they celebrate their wedding, again told in poetry.  I highly recommend both these titles, both for kids and adults.  Due to them being monstery, they're listed by SLJ as Grade 2 to 5, but I think the poems would be a good way to get some younger kids away from being afraid of The Unknown, too - much like Caspar The Friendly Ghost, but sillier.

I was introduced to Adam Rex's work by Christy Meisler (the guest chef who made us last week's Owl Ice Cream!), in the usual way.  That is, she put the books in my lap and said, "read this!"  As always, she was right about these books, and all thanks go to her.  And so would a sandwich, if we still lived in the same state.

Frankenstein Sandwiches
Bread, rolls, or wraps
Various sandwich vegetation, such as onions, lettuce, peppers, or tomatoes

1) Choose a bread, roll, or wrap.
2) Choose a combination of fillings.
3) Spread any and all condiments onto your bread, and then fill with a large pile of various fillings.
4) Enjoy!

Okay, so this is a bit silly, particularly as the point of this sandwich is that it includes absolutely everything, kinda like a Dagwood sandwich, so giving an ingredient list is like giving a list of colors you can paint with, when everybody knows that the sky's the limit.  The Frankenstein Sandwich is a platform on which to experiment with flavors, textures, and deliciousness!  My sandwich, seen above, included buffalo-style chicken breast, Swiss cheese, onions, and blue cheese dressing. (So good!)  I often sprinkle some dried oregano on my sandwiches, which gives them a deli-esque flavor.  I'm also a big fan of roast-beef-and-turkey-with-red-onions-and-cheddar-and-pesto-on-a-hoagie-roll, and a friend's mom made me a delicious brie and pear on ciabatta not too long ago.  Sandwiches are a thing of beauty and creativity and deliciousness, and I really should eat them more often.  Perhaps while reading.

So tell me, dear bleaders:  What would your monster sandwich be?  And what would you read while eating it?

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