Friday, April 4, 2008


The above sounds like the title of some sexually-oriented spam that might arrive in my junk e-mail, but it's actually the name of a charming and wonderfully illustrated Scholastic kid's book from 1970-- one I cherished when I was a young 'un. The ever-excellent FRANKENSTEINIA blog has a guest post about the book by writer and children's book editor Geof Smith, who apparently loved the book as much as I did. Click here to read a perceptive, funny, nostalgic appreciation of this classic macabre kid's book.

Then come back here in the days to come, because I'll be adding some illustrations from the book not used in Mr. Smith's post. I'd been independently planning for a while to praise this book myself, but Frankensteinia beat me to it! Well, I couldn't have written as good an appreciation as Mr. Smith, anyway!

Today, I'll show you the cover of a 1988 Scholastic reprint of "How to Care for Your Monster" (offered under their Lucky Star imprint). New art by Bridwell on the cover seemed to promise new art inside, but unfortunately the 1988 edition has tracings of the 1970 illustrations; these lack the edgy, sketchy style of the first edition pictures. (Also, the lines of the original art were printed in olive and black; the lines of the tracings are in black only.)

[Correction, April 7th: I looked over the inside art of my 1988 reprint of "How to Care for Your Monster", and found that the drawings are not tracings of the original pictures, but are are new drawings based on the originals. Most are, however, poorly done compared to the originals.]

Stay tuned to this same channel for more monster art from this merry monster-maintenance manual!

Click on the image above to enlarge. (I love the gag "Sandy or Lord Ashton" on the werewolf's bowl!)


John Rozum said...

This is one of my most cherished books from my childhood, and I, too, have long beem=n planning to post a tribute to this wonderful title. What's been stopping me is a fear of opening the pages enough to put it on my scanner bed and having the binding go.

I haven't made the journey to Frankensteinia in a few days, but am sure to wander over now.

Mortuis said...

I have a copy of this, sans cover, in storage somewhere. It's a truly funny, good-humored book.


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