Morphing the Monster: The Monsterator by Keith Graves
MASTER EDGAR DREADBURY
FOUND HALLOWEEN A BORE.
THE WHOLE BUSINESS OF COSTUMES
WAS A MISERABLE CHORE.
Master Edgar has the spooky mansion, the scary tree outside his window, the jack o' lantern on his candle stand, and the Eddie Munster haircut already. He hardly needs any Halloweenification. But duty calls, and after Edgar rejects his old vampire, zombie, and clown costumes, he drags himself downtown to shop for something suitable. Suddenly he spots a store he'd never seen before, The Emporium. It certainly has the right atmosphere.
IT WAS DANK AND DARK AS A CELLAR.
"SERVICE!!" HE CALLED.
When no one appears, Edgar looks around on his own. But there are no costumes to be seen.
But then he does see something that looks promising. It's a musty, dusty contraption with an enticing name:THE MONSTERATOR! The phlegmatic Edgar guesses instantly what this machine is supposed to do.
"OH, WHY NOT?"
Edgar puts his dime in the slot, steps inside, and ....
As electric sparks crackle through his body, his hair stands on end and Edgar quivers, shivers, and...
EDGAR WAS MONSTERATED
FROM HIS KNEES TO HIS NOSE
AND MONSTERATED SOME MORE; FROM HIS TEETH TO HIS TOES.
And it's GREAT! Edgar has horns. He's hairy and scary, with dragon scales and tail. He's gorgeously gruesome and he scares the heck out of everyone. It's the best Halloween ever.
But when Edgar is done chasing yowling black cats, squeamish squirrels, and terrified trick-or-treating tots, he returns for his de-Monsteration! But... The Emporium, Monsterator and all, has vanished.
Has Edgar learned his lesson? Has he seen the folly of trying to fool Mother Nature? Is he filled with regret? Is there some wise wizard troll or hairy fairy ready to reverse his monstrous transformation?
Uh, NO. And Edgar likes it that way, in Keith Graves' duly droll The Monsterator (Roaring Brook Press, 2014). As illustrator, the appropriately surnamed Graves offers all the trappings and tropes of the monster mansion, done up in suitably somber and murky tones, and as author his quaint and curious quatrains summon up the spirit of that other Edgar (Poe), while providing some delightfully funny rhymes.
But... THERE'S MORE! At the back of the book Graves provides readers with their own chance to monsterate Edgar with a stack of quarter-page flip pages so that kids can re-form Edgar from head to toe with a total of 625 new monsterated versions of our hero. This book is a total hoot--one kids will love to share as they combine and re-combine the possibilities. The book will wear out before the kids do, making Graves' The Monsterator a sure-fire hit for scary season reading.