Cover image for Frank was a monster who wanted to dance
Frank was a monster who wanted to dance
Graves, Keith.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
28 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Frank the monster indulges his love of dancing by strutting his stuff on stage until his head unzips, his brains flop out, and he continues to lose body parts.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.5 0.5 115944.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Frank was a monster who wanted to dance. So he put on his hat, and his shoes made in France...and opened a jar and put ants in his pants! So begins this monstrously funny, deliciously disgusting, horrifyingly hilarious story of a monster who follows his dream. Keith Graves' wacky illustrations and laugh-out-loud text will tickle the funny bone and leave readers clamoring for an encore.

Author Notes

Keith Graves is the pen name of an alien disguised as a large parakeet. He was last spotted in Texas with his lovely three-eyed wife and twin Martians. This is his second book for earthlings.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. In rhyme and gloriously putrid color, we follow Frank the monster as he achieves his dream: "I know I could boogie if they gave me a chance," he muses, sitting at home in his rat-slippers. So he puts on his hat and his shoes (from France), opens a jar of ants and sprinkles them in his pants, and proceeds to the theater. The audience loves him, but his head, which looks like an acid-green baseball with a zipper, comes undone, spilling out his purplely brain. The grossed-out audience departs as Frank loses an arm and an eyeball. Just the ticket for a collection that might be leaning too much toward the sweet and proper. This is a close cousin to Boogie Bones, written by Elizabeth Loredo and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (1997). --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

When ghoulish Frank tries to break into showbiz as a dancer, his zombie body begins to fall apart, literally. According to PW, this "will likely hit primary graders' funny bones." Ages 2-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-This is the story of a Frankenstein-type monster whose only desire is to dance. The garish creature, whose eyes bulge alarmingly, is shown in the first spread watching Soul Train. With dreams of the spotlight, he crashes the theater, where the audience has gathered to see the Royal Ballet. Instead, they see the leering Frank in a vaudeville sort of dance, complete with top hat and cane. The audience raves until the creature begins to come undone: his head unzips and his brain tumbles out. The act ends with the monster losing an eye, an arm, and his head as the crowd stampedes for the door. Readers may be startled by the dance's ending-should they feel sorry for Frank or run screaming like the audience? The verse is stilted at times and children probably won't get the joke when Frank is said to have "danced like his shoe size, instead of his age." The text jitters around the page just like a dancer. Words are emphasized with a variety of fonts, colors, shapes, and sizes. Some letters turn into eyeballs and worms to tie into the plot. The acrylic illustrations are slightly gross-Frank's brain flops out of his skull dripping flies and worms, and his eyeball rolls out the door. The book is a little too gory to be hilarious, and not enough attention is given to the monster's personality to bring him to life.-Susan Marie Pitard, Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.