Showing posts with label Norman Bridwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norman Bridwell. Show all posts

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Monster Holidays (1974, Norman Bridwell)

We're back with another Norman Bridwell pseudo-serious guide for the monster enthusiast (I previously posted on The Witch's Catalog and How To Care For Your Monster). This time he's focusing on how your pet monster can be enjoyed on holidays throughout the year.

Of course we all know monsters fit right in at Halloween, but I bet it never occured to you that your pet mummy can be useful in a game of snap-apple.

Or that a vampire's fangs and gift of flight give him a unique advantage in bobbing for apples?

They also make a useful chaperon for trick-or-treating.

A mummy might use an Egyptian curse to punish cranky homeowners that "ran out" of candy.

But what about holidays other than Halloween? Bridwell has some interesting advise. For example, he suggest vampires might enjoy the "Hanukah" (sic) menorah, as it will remind him of his castle candelabrum.

With his fear of fire, Frankenstein, on the other hand, might prefer spinning the dreidel.

When New Year's Eve rolls around, you might want to keep an eye on your mummy, lest someone mistake his loose bandages for streamers.

Here's a poem you can send to your vampire on Valentine's Day.

He'll show you his vamp-Irish side (don't blame me--I stole the pun from Bridwell!) on St. Patrick's Day by dressing up as a leprechaun.

A werewolf, on the other hand, may end up catching a real leprechaun and cooking him in his own pot!

April Fool's Day provides an opportunity to play pranks on your monster, but they just might prank you back. As payback for greasing his perch, the vampire has rigged the door to dump a bucket of bats on your head!

Pour some jumping beans into your mummy's hollow body to give him a little get-up-and-go. But his retaliation will trip you up.

A vampire wouldn't make a good Easter bunny, because he'd drop his egg basket while hanging from a tree branch.

Some of your monster's mothers, just in time for Mother's Day.

This last one has to be my favorite. Bridwell suggests a mummy would enjoy the chaos that ensues as ladies fight over Labor Day sales items!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How to Care For Your Monster (1970, Norman Bridwell)

I previously posted on Norman Bridwell's The Witches' Catalog. Here's another fun book by Bridwell that purports to be non-fiction... a guide for owning and caring for your own pet monster.

Only four types of monsters are covered here: Frankensteins, mummies, vampires and werewolves.

The author recommends shopping at your neighborhood monster store (they open after midnight).

A Frankenstein-type monster will feel right at home in a dark cellar. Rattle some chains to help make him comfortable.

If your parents are always complaining about noise, a nice quiet mummy is the pet for you.

You might find one by scrounging in the dumpster behind a museum.

Keep your mummy dry, and don't unwrap him!

Vampires are next, and this book offers a creative way to catch one.

Toss your hat up in the air when a bat flies by and the bat may fly into it. Put him in a cage, and by morning, he could turn into a vampire.

Vampires require a coffin for sleep.

You'll have to attend to his grooming needs as vampires are afraid of mirrors.

Finally there is the werewolf. The book warns against owning a werewolf unless you're reconciled to the fact that he'll only look like a monster on nights when the moon is full.

If your werewolf falls ill, the time of the month will dictate whether he goes to a doctor or the vet.

Keep a running tally of your friends in case your werewolf has eaten one.

Buy How To Care For Your Monster here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Witch's Catalog (Norman Bridwell, 1976)

This is a fun little book by Norman Bridwell, of Clifford the Big Red Dog fame (he also authored a series based around a witch character who looks very similar to the witch pictured here). There are all kinds of magical items to order in "The Witch's Catalog" (1976).

The conceit that you are not merely reading about the magical items but are actually in possession of the catalog itself that a witch orders from elevates the whole experience... you are not merely holding a book, but an artifact from the supernatural world!

For the junior chef, there's this Witch's Cookbook, featuring recipes for stewed spider supreme, baked bats, scorpion sauce, and other delights. May as well get the Witch's Kitchen Kit while you're at it--it's received the Good Witch's Seal of Approval.

Animal lovers can order this birdhouse for bats that is chemically treated to attract bugs...

If you have a green thumb (or know a graveyard where you can dig up someone else's) there's the Ghastly Garden kit.

This next item is being marketed to the girls, but it looks like something the boys would enjoy just as much. This Haunted Doll House comes complete with a terrified family of four.

I don't totally get this next one. Seems a witch's night light would attract "creepy things" that "go bump in the night", not repel them, but what do I know about retail?

And it's not all scary stuff either. This helpful Magic Pencil does your homework, while the Magic Pillow sends you pleasant dreams of puppies and ice cream (although what a witch would find pleasant about either of those things is beyond me).

This pet dragon seems like a reasonable deal...

(If you thought you saw some of the bigger kids smoking from a dragon-shaped pipe after school, this might explain it. )

Until you add on all the extras...

So how exactly do you order this stuff? This page explains. Note the all-caps disclaimer regarding the order form: "DO NOT FILL IT OUT! DO NOT TAKE IT OUT OF THE CATALOG!" Yea...especially if you don't want to get an angry note sent home from the school librarian.

The "order form" is only a few inches wide (only slightly larger than it appears in this scanned image) and the text is deliberately obscured to prevent anyone from producing an actual copy. Because what if someone really did successfully recreate the order form, rub it with bat fat and flea tears, hide it in a hollow tree, and then never actually received their pet dragon? Lawsuit!