Frankie and Friends: Breaking News
Author: Christine Platt
Illustrator: Alea Marley
Published October 10th, 2023 by Walker Books
Summary: Frankie’s mama is leaving to cover a breaking news story. Frankie, Papa, and Frankie’s teenage sister, Raven, are all proud of Mama, even though they miss her when she’s away. But Frankie has a great idea: she can make her own news show! After all, Mama has told her that news is happening around her all the time. With a little assistance from her friends—including her doll Farrah, Robert the toy robot, and her tabby cat, Nina Simone—Frankie prepares for her first “broadcast.” And when she hears someone crying in the house, she knows that’s the developing story she must cover. With humor, empathy, and imagination, Frankie gets the scoop—and learns that even mature older sisters can miss Mama sometimes. With sweet illustrations throughout, this engaging new series embraces communication and compassion and is a refreshing portrayal of Black women in journalism. Young reporters will learn the terms of the trade, which are clearly presented in the text and reinforced in a glossary at the end of the book.
In a charming new chapter-book series by a social-change advocate, young Frankie emulates her journalist mama by reporting on household news with the help of her sister and an unlikely news crew.
About the Creators:
Christine Platt is a literacy advocate and historian who believes in using the power of storytelling as a tool for social change. She holds a BA in Africana studies, an MA in African American studies, and a JD in general law. Although her only daughter is now in college, Christine Platt continues to draw on their adventures together as inspiration for her children’s literature. She has written more than thirty books for young readers and currently resides in Washington, DC.
Alea Marley is an award-winning illustrator of many books for children, including Phoebe Dupree Is Coming to Tea! by Linda Ashman. She loves creating whimsical scenes that are filled with patterns, texture, and bursts of color. Alea Marley lives in northern England.
Review: I love when I read a book, and I can immediately see it being loved by readers and how educators can utilize it in the classroom. Breaking News did exactly that–readers are going to love Frankie, her family, her group of stuffed animals, and her go-get-em attitude. They will also connect with Frankie’s emotions and curiosity. Then, on top of that, educators can easily grab so much from the book to use in the classroom, especially the journalism aspects. And all of this is done in a early chapter book that is age appropriate, full of family dynamics, promotes imagination, and has beautiful full-page color illustrations!
Tools for Navigation: The author does a great job intertwining journalism terminology with the story and also has back matter which delves deeper into the different terms. I would love to see these aspects used to help a class get started on a class newspaper or, like Frankie and her mom, an oral report that is news-based.
- How does Frankie’s curiosity help her start the important conversation with her sister?
- What emotions does Frankie, and her family, go through when her mom needs to leave to cover a news story?
- How does Frankie’s mom inspire Frankie?
- What traits does Frankie have that will make her a good journalist?
- What journalistic terms did you learn from the book?
- What do you think was the author’s purpose in this book?
Read This If You Love: Polly Diamond series by Alice Kupiers, Illustrated by Diana Toledano; Pigeon Private Detectives series by Christee Curran-Bauer; King and Kayla series by Dori Hillestad Butler, Illustrated by Nancy Meyers
**Thank you to Nicole Banholzer PR for providing a copy for review!**