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Children's Nonfiction General

Monster Science

Could Monsters Survive (and Thrive!) in the Real World?

by (author) Helaine Becker

illustrated by Phil McAndrew

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
General, Folklore & Mythology
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
Recommended Reading age
8 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


“What if the terrifying creatures of your nightmares were indeed prowling the big, wide world beyond your blankie?” begins the intriguing premise of this book. “Could they really exist? And if so, how?” In a completely original approach to exploring science, award-winning author Helaine Becker places six different kinds of monsters --- Frankenstein, vampires, bigfoot, zombies, werewolves and sea monsters --- under her microscope to expose the proven scientific principles behind the legends. For example, the chapter on Frankenstein delves into how electricity and organ transplants work in the human body, and whether they could really bring someone back to life --- all presented in short, readable sections. There's also historical background on each monster, as well as trivia and jokes in sidebars, and fun quizzes at the end of every chapter for readers to test their knowledge. Becker uses the never-ending appetite for all things monster to engage the imaginations of children and get them excited about science. The just-ghoulish-and-icky-enough illustrations by Phil McAndrew are pitch-perfect, drenched with child-friendly humor. This is a book with tremendous cross-curricular applications in life, earth and physical sciences, as well as in literature (myths and legends), history and literacy skills. With its playful spirit, this is also a book children will happily pick up and devour on their own.

About the authors


Helaine Becker
est l'auteure de nombreux livres jeunesse primés. Elle a écrit plus de 80
livres, dont Raconte-moi les graphiques : L'histoire de William Playfair et
l'album illustré à succès Un porc-épic dans un sapin. Helaine
habite à Toronto, en Ontario.


HELAINE BECKER is the author of numerous of books of fiction and non-fiction for children, among them the best-selling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and its sequel, Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells, The Haunted House That Jack Built and Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner. Her books have won the Silver Birch Award and the CBA Libris Award and have been shortlisted for the Red Cedar, the Hackmatack and the Rocky Mountain awards. Helaine lives in Toronto with her family. Visit her at

Helaine Becker's profile page

Phil McAndrew's profile page


  • Winner, Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award, Honour Book, Ontario Library Association
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award, Non-Fiction, RMBA
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, 2017-2018 Children's Book Award, Hackmatack
  • Winner, Best Bets Junior Non-Fiction, Ontario Library Association
  • Short-listed, Lane Anderson Award, Fitzhenry Family Foundation
  • Short-listed, Youth Book Award, Canadian Science Writers' Association
  • Winner, Eureka! Silver Award, California Reading Association

Editorial Reviews

... a worthwhile read for a wide range of readers.—Resource Links

Readers looking for a scare will not be disappointed, but will also find themselves laughing and learning something new along the way.—School Library Connection

... an inspired idea ...—Quill & Quire

... this title will appeal to science educators as a supplemental resource for classroom activities.—School Library Journal

... as intriguing as the weirdness of life itself.—The Toronto Star

Book bait of the best sort, this is a winning combination of fancy and fact.—Kirkus Reviews

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