A Crankenstein Valentine – Perfect Picture Book Friday

It’s time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! Ever get cranky on days that everyone else likes to celebrate? Looking for someone who’s simpatico with your outlook? Well, A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger (illustrated by the fabulous Dan Santat), may be right up your alley. (Yes, I know we’re nowhere near Valentine’s Day, but I saw this sitting on the “new” shelf at the library today and fell in love.) Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 12.29.12 PM Is this your average Valentine’s Day sweet book? 6349266_s End paper hearts, containing the words:





Put the reader in the right mood. The opening spread shows a bedroom door covered in posters of a skull, “Keep Out,” and “Stay Away.” Mom’s hand, the sleeve of her arm covered in a cheery valentine pattern, pushes open the door. She says:

Have you seen my little sweetheart, Crankenstein? You can’t miss Crankenstein on Valentine’s Day. 

Then on the page turn, the narrative makes an interesting switch to second person:


Crankenstein would say, YECHHHH!

Mom gives poor little Crankenstein a present:

You would say, Look who got brand-new HEART UNDIES!

Crankenstein would say, YECHHHH!

And the day goes downhill from there. Taking roses to teachers, getting smooched on the schoolbus, eating mom’s lovingly prepared heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the school cafeteria. Oh, the HORROR of the biggest, mushiest, sappiest day one must ever endure at school!  Trouble is, everyone else LOVES LOVES LOVES Valentine’s Day. 26368674_s Until— Soulmates unite.  35380713_s For anyone who suffers through celebrations, events, parties, etc…that everyone else seems to love. All you need is a kindred spirit who feels the same way you do.

Title: A Crankenstein Valentine

Author: Samantha Berger

Illustrator: Dan Santat

Publisher: Little Brown

Pub Date: 2014

38 thoughts on “A Crankenstein Valentine – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Wendy says:

    A good title to know for next year! (I’ve learned that my library puts the nicest looking, least beat up books on the ‘new’ shelf! They’ve tricked me many a time)

  2. Joanna says:

    Sam Berger is one of the funniest picture writers out there at the moment. I love how she twists stuff on end!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Delightfully silly is the perfect description. But it’s also a book that will resonate with those who may stand on the opposite side of the fence of the majority. Surely there must be others who feel the same way?!

  3. Ste J says:

    How did I miss this post on my blog jaunts! I tend to get this feeling at New Year’s parties, so it’s nice to have somebody as contrary to take as a role model, although I would be happy were some ladies to mention underwear with hearts on. I suppose I am the biggest hypocrite after all.

  4. Sheila says:

    That’s a great idea for a book, especially because Valentine’s Day was never much fun at school. Just looking at those candy hearts makes me think YECHH! I tolerate it now only for the chocolate.

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