Sometimes it seems like clutter has a life of its own, but imagine if that were literally the case. That’s the premise of Ron Lightburn’s humorous and cautionary picture book Frankenstink!: Garbage Gone Bad.
Written in rhyming couplets, Frankenstink! tells the story of a young boy who has allowed the mess under his bed to get out of control. Mysterious conditions involving the perfect confluence of gross smells and warm temperature cause a monster to spring to life and head out in search of garbage to fill its hungry belly.
Lightburn is an award-winning illustrator. He has created vibrant, comic book art style pictures and a playful glow-in-the-dark cover that will appeal to reluctant readers. While the depiction of the monster is actually pretty scary, the story ends on a note that makes it clear there is actually nothing to fear.
The lip-slippery language in the book makes it a fun story to share out loud, and young readers will be both challenged and delighted by evocative words such as “kasplooey” and “kerplunk”.
The book delivers a message about taking care of the environment, both in the wider sense and in our personal spaces, but humour keeps the story from feeling at all preachy.
Frankenstink!: Garbage Gone Bad
By Ron Lightburn
$12.99, hardcover, 32 pp.
Tundra Books, March 2015