This helpful little bear is such a good Samaritan that he’s always late for school.
Frank looks jaunty in his jeans and puffy down vest. He’s a happy young bear, but he’s easily distracted. He arrives for his first day of school after all the other children have gone home. Whether it’s helping to rescue a frightened kitten stuck in a tree or stopping to bust some moves in a dance-off, he can’t bear to keep going on his way. As the days go by, things get progressively a little better. By the fourth day, he arrives before lunch, during snack time—but not before having stopped to investigate “a shrieking squeak” and “a terrible stink.” Just outside the school, there was a big green ogre bullying a family of rabbits. Frank’s rescue of the bunnies results in his arriving covered in that terrible stink. On the fifth day, Frank arrives mere seconds after the bell rings. But school stops abruptly when a giant zombie lizard king breathes fire just outside the classroom window. Everyone else wants to flee, but Frank manages to make friends with the lizard. After that, he is never late again…maybe. The impish illustrations have great quirky appeal, but the story lacks even an inner logic—children will get hung up in the chronology, if nothing else—and has a murky message.
Zany but forgettable. (Picture book. 4-7)