CM . . . .
Volume I Number XI . . . . August 25, 1995
Franklin Goes to School
Paulette Bourgeois. Illustrated by Brenda Clark.
Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1995. 32pp, paper, $4.95.
ISBN 1-55074-276-0 (cloth: $12.95, ISBN 1-55074-268-X)
First day of school-Fiction.
Preschool - grade 1 / Ages 3 - 6.
Review by A. Edwardsson.
Franklin could count by twos and tie his shoes. He could zip zippers and
button buttons. But Franklin was worried about starting school. And that
was a problem because Franklin was going to school for the very first time.
Paulette Bourgeois (author of Big Sarah's Little Boots and
Too Many Chickens) tackles another issue of concern to
preschoolers in this latest addition to the popular series featuring
Franklin, a young turtle.
Franklin is excited about the idea of school. He gets up early, packs
his pencil case with freshly sharpened coloured pencils, then wakes his
parents. But as departure time draws near, he's not able to eat much
because his tummy is "full of jumping frogs." Halfway to the bus stop he
clutches his stomach and decides he doesn't want to go to school. But as
always, his parents are there to offer encouragement and reassurance.
Franklin's tummy also bothers him when his friends at the bus stop
boast that they can already read and write. When the bus arrives the
others climb aboard, but Franklin grabs his parents and "kept hugging
even after his friends had found seats." Attentive readers will pick up
on the signs that Franklin's friends are also nervous: " `Do you think
there's a bathroom at school?' asked Beaver, fidgeting in her seat."
Their new teacher, Mr. Owl, is waiting for their arrival, and soon
everyone but Franklin is involved in an activity. The kindly teacher
approaches Franklin and through a supportive conversation, boosts
Franklin's self-esteem and re-kindles his excitement about school and
learning. From then on, there's no stopping him. On the ride home, "he
was so busy having fun that he almost forgot to get off at his stop."
The First-Day-of-School theme will appeal to youngsters fascinated
with that early milestone, and Franklin's parents model
behaviour that other parents might envy (though it's not really the norm
these days to have both parents on hand to walk children to and from school or the
Brenda Clark's cheerful illustrations capture Franklin's anxieties
and the loving concern of his parents for their only child. Pictures on
each page still allow room for a clear typeface. Young readers will enjoy
touches like the ladybug on the stack of pancakes and the authentic fly pie.
There are two minor visual distractions. The rubber boots in the
classroom scene obviously couldn't fit the paws/feet of any of the student animals
shown. More confusingly, as the story begins, Franklin is pictured
climbing onto the bus -- but the text of the next few pages has him waking
and preparing for his first day and then heading for the bus stop.
But these are quibbles, and the story moves along nicely to a
satisfying and reassuring conclusion. This book would be a valuable
addition for preschools, daycares, kindergartens, and probably grade one
A. Edwardsson is in charge of the Children's Department at a branch of
the Winnipeg Public Library. She has a Bachelor of Education degree and a
Child Care Worker III certification, and is a member of the Manitoba
branch of the Canadian Authors' Association.
To comment on this title or this review, send mail to email@example.com.
Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without
The Manitoba Library Association
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - August 25, 1995.
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