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


Franklin’s Family Treasury.

Paulette Bourgeois. Illustrated by Brenda Clark.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2003.
128 pp., cloth., $17.96.
ISBN 1-55337-479-7.

Subject Heading:
Children's stories, Canadian (English).

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 3-8.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4


Franklin sometimes had colds and tummy aches, and every now and then he got cuts and bruises. He went to the doctor’s for regular checkups, and once the doctor came to Franklin’s house. But, until now, Franklin had never been to the hospital.

Like the two previous collections, Franklin’s Classic Treasury and Franklin’s Friendship Treasury [CM, 7(13), March 2, 2001], the current offering also provides four “Franklin” books, this quartet being originally published between 2000 and 2002, with authorship of one of them, Franklin Goes to Hospital, being ascribed to Sharon Jennings. As well, notes on the copyright page explain that the “interior illustrations prepared with the assistance of Shelley Southern.”

     As the collection’s title indicates, the four stories have a “home” connection, though the first, Franklin Goes to the Hospital (2000) [CM, 7(15), March 30, 2001] takes place principally outside the family dwelling., Franklin’s being hit in the chest with a soccer ball necessitates first a visit to the doctor and then a hospital stay and operation in order “to put a pin in your shell to help it grow properly.” The book’s content deals with both the technical aspects of what happens when someone is scheduled for surgery and also the emotional concerns, such as Franklin’s fear, that may be connected to such happenings. While the words may offer comfort to a child facing a hospital stay, the illustrations also prepare him/her for what this new environment will look like.

     Franklin’s Baby Sister (2000) [CM, 7(15), March 30, 2001] finds Franklin impatiently awaiting the birth of his new sister/brother and having to deal with the figurative aspects of the English language. Franklin, for example, literally looks for spring “just around the next corner.” Although the story closes with Franklin’s saying to Harriet, his new sister, “I’m your big brother, Franklin, and I’ve been waiting for you,” in Franklin and Harriet (2001), Franklin discovers that being a big brother has some disadvantages, including having to share some of your favorite toys. The “warmest” of the family stories is Franklin Says I Love You (2002) [CM, 8(16), April 12, 2002] in which Franklin searches for the “best present ever” for his mother’s birthday.

     Costing less than the four titles purchased separately, even in softcover, Franklin’s Family Treasury is an excellent gift book as well as a school or public library purchase.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children’s and young adult literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

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

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ISSN 1201-9364
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