________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 30 . . . . April 10, 2015


Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad.

Ron Lightburn.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2015.
32 pp., hardcover & ebook, $12.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77049-694-1 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77049-696-5 (ebook).

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Jennifer Baetz.

*** /4


A creepy concoction that wriggles around
leaving a trail of slick slime on the ground
It slides down the hall and peers into the kitchen
Its hunger is growin’, its belly is twitchin’


After ignoring the growing pile of garbage under his bed for some time, a young boy is awakened one night as the neglected trash starts to come to life. He watches it slowly take shape, sliding out from under the bed and wriggling down to the kitchen for a snack of forgotten food in the fridge. It continues to grow bigger and takes shape as a creepy creature as it heads out into the street to feast upon the various garbage cans lined up along the curb. The greedy, slimy beast then seeks out its dream destination - the city dump. Scaring away the rats, it feeds on more garbage until it becomes so fat it explodes into bits of gross goo. But…is it a dream? It’s hard to say, but the boy jumps out of bed the next morning, eager to compost, vacuum, recycle, and scrub before he takes an overdue bath.

     This fantastic tale of what could happen if we don’t clean up our garbage comes to us from Ron Lightburn. Lightburn is primarily an illustrator, having received multiple awards for his artwork, including a Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration for Waiting for Whales. This is the first picture book he has both written and illustrated.

     The rhyming text, which should be read aloud to achieve the full effect of the story, provides an opportunity for early readers to have fun playing with juicy words. There are lots of gross sounds to be made (the words “farts,” “burps,” and “undies” are all here), guaranteed to garner a giggle. Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad will appeal to children who hate to clean up as well as those who love all things disgusting. The comic book style illustrations do a good job at punctuating the horrific fun of the story, and a glow in the dark cover is a bonus available in the print version of the book.

     Fans of Robert Munsch and Dr Seuss will likely enjoy this book as their influences are present throughout the story. A welcome addition to a school, public, or personal library.


Jennifer Baetz is a Fine Arts Librarian in Saskatoon, SK.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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