Dad: Isaac picked "Monsterlicious" for our review today. So here's a question: Isaac, did you choose it simply because it is such a wonderful, wonderful story, or was their some ulterior motive?
Isaac (age 10): What does that mean?
Dad: Was there some other reason as well?
Isaac: Some other reason! Some other reason!
Dad: Do tell...
Isaac: I'm in the book!
Dad: You're a monster?
Isaac: No. I posed for John Sandford the illustrator.
Gracie (age 8): He's our old friend.... sigh...
Dad: Are you saying Mr. Sandford is old?
Gracie: No. But he's our friend that we've had since a long, long time ago, and we barely get to see him any more. That kind of friend. He's not old. But he does have a beard. Anyway Daddy has a beard. And he's not old.
Dad: Do you remember modeling for this book, Isaac?
Isaac: No. But I remember posing for a different picture -- the jellyfish one.
Dad: You were pretty young when you posed for "Monsterlicious." Lily was just a baby... so you were probably only four or five.
Gracie: How come I'm not in a book?
Dad: Well, you were in a magazine. You were his model for a princess kissing a frog. I don't know how much it was supposed to look like you, but you posed for it.
Gracie: I remember that!
Dad: I don't recall what the stand-in for the frog was. It might have been Isaac. I think you had to bend down and pretend you were kissing Isaac's head.
Lily (age 5): And I'm in a book I've seen!
Dad: Yeah, even Lily posed for Mr. Sandford.
Gracie: She wore a big hat.
Dad: You three are pretty lucky. Not many kids can say, "Hey, I'm in a book" or "I'm in a magazine."
Gracie: Ahhh... Mr Sandford... We love him.
Gracie: He moved away. We used to watch the parade every time on his lawn.
Lily: And I don't even remember how he looks.
Gracie: He's skinny.
Dad: What do you kids do every time he visits us?
Gracie: We all make him paper doughnuts!
Dad: Here's my question. (laughing) Why... in the world... do you guys make paper doughnuts for Mr. Sandford?
Gracie: I have no idea.
Isaac: For some reason that started a long time ago, but I don't remember why.
Dad: It's like a very odd tradition that every time we see Mr. Sandford, you all run to the kitchen and make seven or eight paper donuts for him...
Dad: You decorate them, make them all different sizes and shapes. I have to think you guys are the weirdest kids in the world.
Gracie: It's a tradition.
Dad: So, should we get back to the review now? This is "Monsterlicious," written by Erik Jon Slangerup...
Gracie: Hey, what about John Sandford?
Dad: ...And illustrated by John Sandford. Actually, I met Erik Jon Slangerup once too. When I was at Book Expo he was sitting there signing his books. So I waited in line and said, "Hi -- I am the father of "Bingle Bangdoodle," and I whipped out a wallet photo of Isaac. It was pretty cool.
Isaac: In the book, I'm the guy with the big white chef hat and blue eyes and yellow hair.
Dad: Do you still look like that?
Gracie: Yeah, it looks like Isaac.
Isaac: I'm a little tiny kid in there.
Lily: Named "Bingle Bangdoodle."
Dad: Tell me about the story. Little Bingle works at a restaurant, right?
Lily: And the people that came into the restaurant did not like the food he made. Because it was disgusting.
Gracie: He made vegetable jello and it blew up!
Lily: Awww... smushy peas on his toes. Yuck.
Gracie: He dropped a shoe in the food, and he dropped the noodles on the floor, and he burnt the meatloaf.
Lily: But then monsters came in and ate all of it. They thought it was delicious. So he served more food, and more food, and all the food he could make.
Gracie: Then the monsters invited all their friends.
Lily: All the monsters of the world.
Dad: He started making really disgusting concoctions. Which one did you think sounds the grossest?
Gracie: Bat booger pie. Look, and there's wings coming out of it.
Isaac: That one looks the grossest.
Dad: Is that the hog hair soufflé?
Isaac: It's fuzzy and slimy.
Isaac: If I had to eat something there, I would eat the chewing gum. It's better than underwear stew and all those ucky things.
Gracie: The restaurant will be the underwear stew and chewing gum factory of wonderness!
Isaac: I don't think I want to eat right now.
Gracie: I like how they did that... The letters of the story follow the path of the flying gum right into the pot.
Dad: Were the monsters in this book scary creatures?
Gracie: No, they are funny. And ugly.
Lily: Just weird. Not ugly.
Gracie: The trolls were big.
Isaac: They wear hats.
Lily: They have big noses.
Gracie: He's cute. He's freaky. That one is weird -- it's a 'she!'
Dad: How do you think Mr. Sandford came up with so many monster ideas?
Gracie: He's a very creative guy.
Gracie: That's a freaky ugly dude behind Isaac.
Isaac: I remember making that face.
Dad: I love that picture of you Isaac, where you are making the "ooie" mouth, but there is the grossest looking monster thing behind you! It's disgusting! If it had been a little cutie guy hiding back there, I'd hang it on the living room wall... but not with that hideous thing there! But it is a very cute picture of Isaac.
Lily: If giant monsters came into my store, I would run.
Gracie: I would find something big and heavy, break the window, and get out of there.
Dad: What kind of invention would you feed to trolls?
Lily: Peanut butter and honey and worms.
Gracie: Fishbones and eggshell with already chewed gum that has been lying in a trashcan for 100 months.
Isaac: Dirt-worm-eggshell pie. With pepper on it.
Dad: I bet you'll all have a fun time doing the pictures to go along with this review...
Gracie: I'm going to draw Isaac in there with the monsters. You are going to have to pose for me, dude.
Author: Erik Jon Slangerup
Illustrator: John Sandford
Published, 2003: Gingham Dog Press
Like it? Find it
To see pictures of Isaac as Bingle Bangdoodle in "Monsterlicious," you'll have to check out the book! But I thought I'd share a few of the other pictures in which good ol' John Sandford enlisted help from the Z-Kids: