Wednesday, October 6, 2010

11. Doctor Frankensketch's Monster Drawing Machine

Created by Michael Sherman & David Avidor
Klutz, 2010
$16.99, ages 8 and up, 20 pages

Dr. Frankenstein wasn't much of a sharer.

Whenever anyone asked how he pieced together his monster, he'd clam up so no one would repeat his hideous mistake.

But thanks to those crazy, devil-may-care editors at Klutz, your kids can now make their own gruesome blunders with Dr. Frankensketch's monster machine.

Within the pages of this clever art book, young dabblers get to assemble and trace a closet full of yellow-eyed, tummy-bulging ghouls.

But beware, the editors warn, as you open the storage locker for the monsters, "Contents may be rabid and angry."

Not to mention brutishly cute.

Inside the book are 20 ready-made ruffians that can be torn along serrated lines into three parts, a head, torso and lower portion with legs, then mixed to create other ghouls that are terribly, adorably wrong.

By themselves, these fellows are already pretty hideous.

There's a pointy-toothed ogre with zebra-striped horns and a clown-size nose and even a four-eyed blue blob that drips goo and has dog bone hands.

For traditionalists, there's also Frankenstein's monster with flat, green head, bolts in his neck and a scowling mouth and a Dracula with menacing brow, beady eyes and bloody lips.

But you haven't seen nothing yet.

In the back of these monsters is the evil drawing machine, where kids then concoct their own creations.

Here's how it works: First, they arrange up to three body parts in a drawing bed. Next, they flip a clear hard cover over the monster, followed by a piece of tracing paper that comes attached to the binder.

Using a graphite pencil found in a little box on the cover of the book, they trace their ghoul onto the paper. Once done, they remove it and use three pencils with different colors on each end to animate it to life.

The important thing, editors say, is to be as weird as you'd like.

When picking parts, they write, "anything goes. Feet can be heads, eyes can be feet." And sometimes two parts may be just enough. Their example: the head of rabid robot over the hairy feet of a sumo wrestling bull. 

So the next time your child begs to reanimate a few souls from body parts, say, "Sure! Why not?"

And a word to Dr. Frankenstein: you better get cracking in the dark arts. That's 100 and something ugly guys to your gruesome 1.

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