________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 13 . . . . February 28, 2003


Franklin and the Big Kid. (A Franklin TV Storybook).

Sharon Jennings. Illustrated by Sean Jeffrey, Jelena Sisic and Shelley Southern.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2002.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55074-992-7 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55074-990-0 (cl.).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Lisa O'Hara.

**1/2 /4

This story is part of the "Franklin TV Storybook" series written by Sharon Jennings rather than part of the original series by Paulette Bourgeois. The book continues the spirit of the original Franklin series, teaching children life lessons in a gentle, fun way. The illustrations are familiar since they are also from the original series and from the television show which many children have seen.

     Here Franklin learns that there is more to being a big kid than the "cool" stuff that he sees. Franklin is befriended by Jack Rabbit, one of the big kids whom Franklin has seen around, and he develops a case of hero worship. Franklin turns his cap around the way the big kids do and wears a soccer jersey the way Jack Rabbit does and is thrilled when Jack Rabbit lets him try out his skateboard. The next day, he turns down Bear's invitation to play pirates to hang out with Jack Rabbit. But Jack Rabbit is spending the day working, and so Franklin offers to help. In the course of bundling and delivering flyers, he discovers that it is a lot of work and that Jack can't even spend the money on fun stuff but is saving up for college. In the end, Franklin decides that he really isn't big enough for a paper route and a skateboard, and he spends his share of the money they have earned on candy which he shares with Bear.

     This book is teaches a good lesson, but it might be one which is beyond the understanding of the younger children that the Franklin books normally appeal to:

On the third trip, the wind started to blow. Franklin ran after the fly-away papers.

On the fourth trip, it started to rain. Franklin got soaked.

"It's a good thing you make lots of money," he said to Jack. "Think of all the neat stuff you can buy!"

But Jack explained that he was saving most of his money for college.

     I'm not sure that young children understand the concept of working for money, saving or college. However, whether or not children understand the message that is being given in this book, they will enjoy another Franklin story if they are fans.


Lisa O'Hara, a mother of three, is a librarian in Winnipeg, MB.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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