Author: Connah Brecon
Published: September 30, 2014 by Running Press Kids
Publisher Summary: Frank is a bear who is always late. He has very good reasons, like the morning he found himself challenged to a charity dance-off, or the time he had to rescue a family of bunnies from a huge, smelly ogre. Frank’s teacher is not impressed—until a giant zombie lizard king attacks the school, and the friends he made on his diversions help him find a way to save the day.
Half the fun of this book is in the details: the watch repair shop signs that reflect Frank’s tardiness, the growing reactions of each of Frank’s classmates, the three pigeons that follow Frank through the story. Brecon’s crisp characters layered with crayon-like lines creates a bold, kinetic style. This hip, zany story about tall tales and the importance of community will appeal to children and parents with a penchant for the unpredictable.
Ricki’s Review: The illustrations of this book are whimsical and fun. Kids will surely be inspired to want to create their own artwork. This is a fun story that will leave classrooms of students in giggles. Brecon’s imagination shines. This text incorporates some great details and will allow for fantastic conversations in classrooms about responsibility.
Kellee’s Review: Like Ricki said, the illustrations were so wonderful! They are really what moves this text to the next level although Frank himself is just such an eccentric character also. The book does take a crazy, fun twist in the middle which will definitely keep kids’ attention. I do love the theme of helping out that shines throughout the book. This is an important theme to discuss with kids, and this book doesn’t make it boring while discussing it.
Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: Frank gives a variety of clever reasons for being late. Kids might imagining bizarre, silly reasons for being late and hang these pictures around the room. Responsibility is a very important lesson for young children, and I can imagine teachers and students referencing Frank’s story whenever a student doesn’t act responsibly.
Discussion Questions: Why is Frank always late? What is an excuse?; What does it mean to be responsible?; When is the best time to hold dance parties?
We Flagged: “It wasn’t that Frank was rude or unreliable. Nor was he a dawdler or a meanderer. He just liked to help out.” (p. 2-3)
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