CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 15 . . . . March 30, 2001
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2000.
Preschool / Ages 1 -4.
Franklin's Pet Problem.
"If I had a pet, it would sing beautiful songs," Bear told Franklin. "My pet would be a ... [Lift flap, see caged canary illustration, and read the text] ...bird!"Franklin's Special Blanket.
"Franklin's blanket always made him feel safe and warm, even on a bad day... ... [Lift flap, see illustration of Franklin huddled in his blanket draped shell, a storm raging outside, and then read the text] ...or a stormy night."Infants and toddlers can now meet Franklin and his friends through board book adaptations of titles originally authored and illustrated by the familiar Bourgeois/Clark duo.
In Franklin's Pet Problem, which is based on Franklin Wants a Pet (1995), the adapted board book version, whose text has been adapted by Bonnie Bader, tells essentially the same story as Bourgeois' original, except more briefly and with the addition of an interactive element for young viewer/listeners. On each pair of facing pages, the left side bears one of Clark's full-page illustrations and the right hand page carries some brief text printed on a flap. Lift the flap, and another small illustration appears with more text printed on the flap's backside. Most of the illustrations are taken from the original book while some have been excerpted from Franklin is Messy (1995) and Franklin has a Sleepover (1996). A few illustrations are flipped versions of the originals while still others have been cropped to fit the new format.
Moore's Franklin's Special Blanket is a modified version of Franklin's Blanket (1995). Though it maintains the original storyline of Franklin's losing his "comfort" item, the adaptation drops the connection between Franklin's misplacing his blanket and his attempting to avoid having to eat his Brussels sprouts. The book's brevity demands the omission of details, but the loss of some of these, such as Franklin's father's loan of own childhood yellow blanket and Beaver's donation of his teddy bear, significantly reduce the story's emotional impact. Both the full page and the under-the-flap illustrations are taken from Clark's original artwork for Franklin's Blanket.
Very young finders will likely need adult assistance in getting the books' flaps working initially. Small enough to be carried in a purse or pocket, the "Lift-the-Flap Books" would be useful purchases for parents who want to introduce their very young children to the magical fun that can be found in books.
Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and adolescent literature courses in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.