Dracula and Frankenstein are Friends

Drac & Frank Cover

Written by Katherine Tegen, Illustrated by Doug Cushman

HarperCollins, 2003

Dracula and Frankenstein are friends.  They live in two side-by-side houses, in a town where all of the houses are spooky.

Eek!  It’s a:  Pair of classic movie monsters!

That dog looks like he is seriously wanting some of that blood.

That dog looks like he is seriously wanting some of that blood.

This book gives us an idea of how life might be if classic characters Dracula and Frankenstein were neighbors and friends.  One day, over lunch at the Creepy Café, Frankenstein tells Dracula that he’s thinking about hosting a Halloween party.  Dracula immediately wants to help plan a big party, but Frankenstein is thinking about keeping it small and simple.  But Dracula is so stuck on the idea of a themed party with music and decorations that he decides to host his own party.  Dracula then makes matters worse by sabotaging Frankenstein’s invitations.  On Halloween night, both of them have everything ready for their parties.  Everyone shows up at Dracula’s and the party is in full swing, when he happens to look next door and see Frankenstein sitting alone in his party-ready house.  So he brings all of his guests over to Frankenstein’s house and lets his friend’s party be the successful one.

Author Katherine Tegen does a great job of fitting this story to her audience.  I like the idea of setting these two (plus many other classic monsters) in a suburban neighborhood and giving them lives that are much like ours.  Illustrator Doug Cushman explores that concept further, with lots of fun references and comic details (Dracula’s ‘velcome’ mat, for instance) that make the book enjoyable, especially for classic monster fans.

The behavior and characteristics we see in the two main characters are very relatable to children, particularly in the immature and childish actions of Dracula.   Deciding to not only have a party on the same night (especially when you share the exact same group of friends) is bad enough, but to then steal the invitations to ensure your party will be the more successful is just terrible.  And I feel that Dracula never had to really own up to his actions and the worst we see him feeling is that his own party had ‘lost its fizz.’  I would have liked to see a little more self-realization of his mistakes.

And what did we learn?  What I take away from this book is that true friends will help you be successful and then delight in your success.


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