Crankenstein By Samantha Berger




Crankenstein is a light-hearted, funny book about something we are, no doubt, all quite familiar with: cranky kids!


There are many reasons Crankenstein appears; maybe he’s just tired and wants to stay in bed, maybe he’s hungry, maybe things are just not going the way he planned, but when Crankenstein shows his face, everyone knows about it! Of course, no one is Crankenstein all the time.

Why I love it:

As my kids are getting older I am only too aware of how some days it really does seem as though they have got out of the wrong side of the bed. Some days, I’ve been grunted at and chastised for events that happened last year, before we’ve even made it to the breakfast table. The problem with big feelings in little people is that they don’t always know how to manage them and this book is an excellent conversation starter for just that. I can also totally relate to how quickly Crankenstein can disappear! The illustrations, by Dan Santat are a standout too. They are extremely vibrant and, in a way, larger than life. They appeal greatly to children and to adults.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Feeling cranky and out of sorts
  • What to do when you feel this way
  • Managing own behaviour
  • The feelings of those around you and the impact you can have
  • Feeling cheery again: what can help and how it feels

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:

  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • The boy on the cover looks pretty mad; what do you think has made him this way?
  • Why do you think the book is called Crankenstein?

After reading:

  • Now why do you think the book is called Crankenstein? Has your idea changed?
  • List three things that made Crankenstein cranky.
  • Have you ever felt really cranky? Tell me about it.
  • What kinds of things make you cranky?
  • When you feel cranky, how does your behaviour change?
  • Do you think other people can tell when you’re cranky?
  • At the end of the story, what is it that changes Crankenstein’s mood?
  • Why do you think this changed his mood?
  • Do you think grown-ups get cranky too?
  • How can you tell when I’m cranky?
  • What do you think we should all try to do when we feel cranky?
  • What is something that helps you feel better when you’ve been cranky?

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