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Frankencrayon
2016
Where is it?
Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
Fiction
Juvenile
Humor
Topics
Performance artists
Self-acceptance
Colors
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
Like books about books, crayon stories seem to have become their own subgenre. Hall's multilayered follow-up to Red: A Crayon Story belongs to both categories. A pencil narrates; it's directing an all-crayon production of Frankencrayon. The creature-played by Purple, Green, and Orange, stacked precariously to monster height, with Green's head appropriately sutured-and the other crayons have just discovered bright red notices stamped on the pages: "This picture book has been canceled." Earlier, the lights went out and an angry red scribble appeared across the page. Who is the book defacer? The crayons' attempts to cover the scribble only make it worse. Some imaginative crayoning helps the scribble get where it's going, but the identity of the villain is kept secret until the final page. While the plot twists can get tricky to follow, Hall's crisp-edged illustrations help keep things straight. Deadpan humor (it's easy to imagine the costumed crayons saying their lines in flat, expressionless tones) and nested realities (the theatrical production, the world of the crayons, the book as a physical object) make for clever, provocative entertainment. Ages 4-8. Agent: Anna Olswanger, Olswanger Literary. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-A mysterious red scribble marks the beginning of the end for a picture book, and the story of its cancellation and the ensuing fallout is related from the perspective of a pencil and some crayon characters. Hall has had great success with crayons before. In Red: A Crayon's Story (HarperCollins, 2014), he explored self-acceptance and judgment. This time he writes a just-for-fun mash-up of monster movie references and schoolroom shenanigans, while skewering literary conventions. As the narrator takes readers through the lead-up to the cancelled book (never ask a crayon to do the job of an eraser), there are breaks in the proscenium and characters are sent to later parts of the story to wait for their cues. Frankencrayon himself is three crayon stubs put together: green for the head, orange for the midsection, and purple for the bottom. Hall's genius application of crayon drawings and cut-paper collage creates a product that any child could see himself making, and that's how artists and authors are born. VERDICT A monstrously entertaining read.-Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence, RI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Hall returns to the world of anthropomorphic crayons with this delightful Halloweeny jaunt. This time, though, the crayons are prepared to put on their own version of Frankenstein. The roles have been cast, and the pencil is ready to narrate when a giant scribble appears! Though the crayons try to scrub it away, they only make it bigger. It seems there's no recourse but to cancel the book (and the show), but wait: three crayons taped together for the starring role of the Frankencrayon monster didn't get the memo, and they have been waiting patiently on page 22 for their big entrance. Thinking quickly, they draw a mouth and some legs for the scribble and send it on its way, and the show goes on. As in Red: A Crayon's Story (2015), the bright cut-paper crayons hold a running commentary as a humorous Greek chorus, and the scribble's appearance against both black and white backgrounds adds striking visuals, effectively supporting the ultimate message of inclusion and creative problem solving.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2015 Booklist
Horn Book Review
This picture book has been canceled, an Official Notice proclaims on the copyright page. Please close the book and find something else to read. Three disappointed crayons (I cant believe its been canceledIt was my first starring role), along with the books narrator, a pencil, describe how a giant red scribble disrupts plans for their production of Frankencrayon. Chaos ensues (Its horrifying! Hideous!) as the crayons try to color over the scribble, only making it worse; the frustrated cast leaves, the picture book gets canceled. Meanwhile, oblivious Frankencrayon (made up of purple crayon on the bottom, orange in the middle, and green on top for the head) makes the planned entrance onto the scribbled page (Hello. Who are you?), fixes the problem, and saves the play, er, day. A companion to Halls Red: A Crayons Story (rev. 1/15), this books complex plot-within-a-plot structure provides punchy entertainment to keep readers engaged throughout and offers inspiration for thinking about theater, bookmaking, and storytelling. julie roach (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Review
Personified crayons and a pencil, thespians all, re-enact the cancellation of their book, while Hall fills his story within a story with intrigue, theater, and a whole lot of silly. An "official notice" greets readers, urging them to abandon this book, while a cancellation stamp mars the title page. When the cast-member crayons realize a reader is turning the page, the pencil breaks the fourth wall and starts to recount what went wrong with their production of Frankencrayon. It began at rehearsal, with a mysterious scribble, which the crayons try to erase but only make bigger. When the play is canceled, three crayons help the scribble to independence by drawing feet and a face. Reflecting on these events, the crayons and pencil realize lessons learned ("Even a messy scribble can be a lovely thing"), and all ends well...until: "Screeeeeetch!" The villain behind the scribble is revealed! Hall, as usual, plays with both narrative and its visual representation. The illustrations are compelling, with cut-paper crayons and a variety of textures and typefaces. However, the stretch to innovate and interact leads to a story composed of many varied parts, which often complicate rather than clarify. And while different types help identify which character is speaking (and when), the textual busyness on top of this visually reductive story can be confusing. With very careful repeat reads, this challenging tale may pay off, especially if readers choose to put on a play of their own. (dramatis personae) (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary


Ingenuity and surprise rule in this funny and colorful companion to Red: A Crayon's Story written and illustrated by Michael Hall, the New York Times-bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo.

The crayons are ready to tell the thrilling tale of Frankencrayon. The costumes are made, the roles are cast, the pages are all set--but then disaster strikes. Someone has scribbled on the page! Hideous! Horrifying! The story can't go on! Try as they might, the crayons can't erase the scribble, and this picture book must be canceled. Until the crayons playing the title role of Frankencrayon think of a solution, that is. Michael Hall breaks borders and invites readers behind the scenes with his irresistible, clever style and bold artwork. A book about seeing beauty in unexpected places and the magic of storytelling.

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