Monster Science: Could Monsters Survive (And Thrive!) in the Real World? By Helaine Becker, illustrated by Phil McAndrew

Published by Kids Can Press 

Summary:  Frankenstein, vampires, Bigfoot, zombies, werewolves, and sea monsters…each chapter starts with a labeled illustration of the monster in question, then gives a little history.  Then it’s on to science, and lots of it.  For instance, the first chapter—Frankenstein—covers electricity, the nervous system, organ transplants, genetic engineering, and robots.  There are plenty of humorous illustrations, sidebars, and “Monster Facts”.  Each chapter ends with a 10-question quiz that tests kids comprehension without taking itself too seriously.  For Frankenstein, a score of 0-2 earns you the title of Luigi Galvani; 3-6 is Isaac Newton; and 7-10 is Dr. Frankenstein himself.  An index is included, but no resources for further exploration.  96 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros: This could make a fun and fairly comprehensive science textbook.  There’s plenty of information, presented with lots of humor.  The monster aspect adds an extra element of interest for readers.

Cons:  It would take a keen interest in science to get through all the material here.

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