I just read Adam Rex’s new children’s book, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich —a collection of poems and paintings about the classic movie monsters facing everyday issues like “The Creature From the Black Lagoon: Doesn’t Wait an Hour Before Swimming” or “The Phantom of the Opera: Can’t Get ‘It’s a Small World After All’ Out of His head.” It is hilarious! It made me laugh out loud, I swear, I have witnesses. It’s also a book that rewards a careful reader — the words and imagery hold more laughs within them than you’d realize at a quick glance. The artwork has Adam’s usual mastery and he’s done many of the paintings in various styles to match the tone of the monsters — some in color, some black and white, one in a Charles Dana Gibson-esque line drawings, another in a Golden Books-style cartooning, it goes on. The whole thing is a delightful experience.
I asked Adam how the book came about:
I was getting more and more interested in writing funny rhyming stories for kids, and I thought it would be fun to do a whole book of them around one basic theme. When I hit on monsters as a ripe subject for illustrations, the title suddenly popped in my head. I think I was going through this phase when I thought that “sandwich” was a really funny word, and the idea of this fantastic character doing this mundane thing seemed funny all by itself to me. So that’s how the theme came about — monsters with really run-of-the-mill problems. It took months before I figured out what the titular poem was about, though.Below is Adam painting a promotion piece for Sandwich at the Society of Illustrators’ Art Out Loud painting demo series.
Thankfully, Adam is well entrenched in a new project. He is currently writing and illustrating a young adult science fiction novel, complete with prose, sequential pages, and illustration.