CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 17 . . . . April 26, 2002
As the subtitle indicates, Franklin's Big Hockey Game is an activity book, one in which two pages of vinyl stickers play a central part. The 30 reusable stickers can be peeled off their backing and then applied to one of four pages. The cover page folds out, creating a two-page outdoor hockey rink, complete with nets. On the other side, there is a picture of Franklin standing in his room, and the inside back cover reveals a party room. Children can choose to dress Franklin for the game, "play" a game of hockey or celebrate in the party room. The book's remaining pages contain: a "Search and Find" game in which viewers must locate the missing hockey sticks in Franklin's messy room; a "Word Search;" a "Whose Not Ready?" puzzle that calls for matching players with their missing pieces of equipment; "What's Wrong With This Picture?" that consists of a winter scene containing 24 summer items; a "Word scramble;" a "Spot the Difference" activity in which one person in each of three rows is different than the others; a "Hockey maze" and a "Connect the Dots." The book also includes a hot chocolate recipe and instructions on how to draw Franklin. The concluding page provides the correct answers to all of the puzzles. With the exception of the cover and the stickers, the remainder of the book's illustrations are in black and white, and so children could also use the book as a coloring book.
Because of the book's consumable nature, it is obviously a home purchase, and adult purchasers will need to decide for themselves if the book's price, length and contents are a good match. Given that Franklin's principal audience consists of preschoolers, some of the activities, such as the "Word Scramble," "Word Search," and the "Connect the Dots" (which calls for number recognition through 44), may be too sophisticated for such youngsters. Franklin's Big Hockey Game is also a commercial tie-in to the video Franklin Plays Hockey.
Recommended with reservations.
Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature at the faculty
of Education, 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.