Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Celebrate Halloween with Three Clever Parodies

There Was An Old Monster (K-2)
Rebecca, Adrian & Ed Emberley

Set to the rhyme of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, There Was an Old Monster is an even grosser tale of how not to remedy the mistake of swallowing something not meant to be consumed. The perpetuation of the monster's bad ideas are comical as he tosses back some ants to take care of the tick, a lizard to take care of the ants, a bat to take care of the lizard, a jackal to take care of the bat, a bear to take care of the jackal, a lion to take care of the bear, who takes care of the monster instead. Three generations of Emberlys collaborated on There Was an Old Monster: Rebecca Emberley wrote the text and co-illustrated with her father, Caldecott Award winner Ed Emberly, and her daughter Adrian recorded the catchy song version of her mom's book that can be downloaded at http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/book.jsp?id=1303624.

The Runaway Mummy The Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody (ages 4-8)
Michael Rex

Among beloved children's books, The Runaway Bunny is at the top of the heap. This classic story about a headstrong bunny who tests his mother's love and perseverance by threatening to run away elicits laughs and even a few tears by the end of the story. Michael Rex's send up, The Runaway Mummy, assumes this battle of wills has been going on for thousands of years.

The creatures the Mummy mommy turns into to chase down her "rotten little mummy" are more ghastly than a tree, a mountain, or the wind. Try a sea monster, a fire-breathing dragon (to keep her little mummy warm, of course), a monstrous gorilla, an ancient cathedral, and a sky-high monster with razor-sharp claws (to tickle with, of course).

The Mummy mommy doesn't blink when her boy threatens to turn into a serpent, a gargoyle, a ravenous plant, a huge bat, or a humongous beast, but hear her scream when her little mummy threatens to turn into a little boy who takes karate and learns to play piano, complete with a van-driving mommy who chauffeurs him to Spanish lessons, violin recitals, and chess matches. How would he ever have time to be rotten?


Goodnight, GoonGoodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody (ages 4-8)
Michael Rex

OK. Getting away with The Runaway Mummy is one thing, but parodying Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon with Goodnight Goon is just childhood sacrilege. But it sure is a lot of fun!
In the cold gray tomb
There was a gravestone
And a black lagoon
And a picture of—
Martians taking over the moon
A little werewolf boy puts off sleep by saying goodnight to all the ghoulish things in his room, such as two hairy claws and a set of jaws; and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. And instead of a quiet old lady whispering hush, there's a hairy, old werewolf hollering "boo!" and sticking pins in a voodoo doll while rocking in his chair.

The odd thing is that the Goon rhymes can be just as soothing as the Moon rhymes.

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