Having studied English at university, Moontrug got to know books by Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Emily Bronte and Mary Shelley pretty well. In fact many of her lectures were spent wishing Heathcliff would charge into the room and whisk her out onto the moors… More recently though, Moontrug has come across some fabulous reinventions of The Classics (books teachers and lecturers think are snazzily well written). Sadly she’s yet to come across another Heathcliff as complicatedly awesome as Emily Bronte’s but young readers will be very excited to learn that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been given a bit of a twist by Andy Seed in his hilarious book for 7-11-year-olds: Prankenstein.
When Soapy’s granny is shot through the roof on a turbo-charged chair lift, he knows that something is not right. Someone, or something, is playing incredible, hilarious pranks – but who? Soapy and his friends appoint themselves chief detectives to solve the mystery and discover that the culprit is a hairy, superhuman figure with a shocking secret.
Right from the opening line of the book, ‘Soapy Thompson woke up with a cucumber on his head,’ the reader is thrown into the absurdly hilarious plot. Soapy is a wonderful character and since Moontrug spends most conversations mis-pronouncing words, using malapropisms or just generally saying the wrong thing, she was thrilled to see Soapy do the same: ‘So Soapy just imagined the pranks he would like to pay if he was a little braver – not so humid, as a school report once called him. Or was it timid? He always got those words mixed up.’ And Moontrug LOVED how Soapy’s old mobile gets predicative texts so wrong: bed becomes beef, friends are fried eggs, mobiles are monocles and Dad is a Dartboard.
The story is brilliantly funny – every page makes you chuckle, snigger, giggle, smile, snort and chortle – and the characters are larger-than-life: a Granny who thinks Soapy looked like Winston Churchill as a baby, a Mother who is terrified of having anything delicious, like jam, in the house, a nanny whose knickers get sewn together and BEST of all, The Twince – two Estonian twins with epic accents: ‘I can feel it in my bonce.’ They provide fabulous side-kicks to Soapy, even if Soapy’s parents try their best to thwart Soapy’s plans of sleepovers with them with their ‘DON’Ts’ list:
It’s no wonder Soapy is interested in pranks with parents like that – and Moontrug thought his Royal Family prank was especially giggle-worthy: ‘I’ll give the Queen a wedgie!’ The prank capacity of the great Prankenstein is truly awesome throughout the book and it’ll get children dreaming up the most hysterical tricks: think cows in the kitchen, mega-loud farts, a disappearing Granny, ink in the shower gel, stools glued to bottoms… Prankenstein is a fabulously funny book for 7+ years and Moontrug loved that the punishment for being a prankster was being sent to ‘Eton or Alcatraz.’ He he he.