CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 11. . . .November 15, 2013
The Adventures of Franklin and Friends: A Collection of 8 Stories. (Franklin and Friends).
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2013.
196 pp., hardcover, $13.95.
Franklin (Fictitious character : Bourgeois)-Juvenile fiction.
Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.
Review by Kerry Macdonald.
The Adventures of Franklin and Friends: A Collection of 8 Stories takes eight stories, first published in 2012 and aired on television for the Franklin and Friends series, and re-packages them under one beautifully illustrated hardcover book. The stories in this book tell of Franklinís adventures while featuring important life lessons around fear, acceptance, sharing, listening, friendship, positivity, confidence and perseverance.
You may be disappointed if youíre expecting the traditional looking Franklin characters and storytelling as done by Paulette Bourgeois, the original author of the Franklin books. This book has a distinctly different look and feel and differs from the original Franklin storybooks in both illustrations and writing style. What remains the same are the charming and loveable Franklin characters and the universal lessons that all children can relate to.
As is often the case with books in a series, the stories in this collection are comfortably predictable for young children. The prescriptive nature may make for a rather bland read for adults. What truly sets this book apart are the illustrations. The pictures are vivid, intricately detailed and brilliantly coloured. The cover gives nothing away, and the first look at the inside full-page illustrations can take your breath away. Another wonderful feature of this book is the layout. Having eight stories wrapped up in one book gives young children an early introduction to chapter books. It would be difficult to read this book in one sitting ,and so, much like a chapter book, there is the expectation of continuing on at a later date. Young children will take delight at placing their bookmark at the end of one story and later returning to the book.
Best suited to children aged 3 to 7 years, The Adventures of Franklin and Friends would be a good addition to a library or home reading collection and would make a wonderful gift for any young child.
Kerry Macdonald, a librarian at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB, is the mother of two avid young readers, aged 5 and 9.
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