Frank believes that honesty is the best policy, but is that always the case?
Elementary schooler Frank never lies to his schoolmates. He tells Dotty her freckles look like the Big Dipper, and he tells Carol her singing is “kind of shrieky.” Neither of them is pleased. Frank is also truthful with adults. He tells his teacher her breath smells; when sent to the principal, Frank tells him his toupee looks like a weasel. Even his mother doesn't seem to appreciate his candor. No one in Frank's life (including Frank) is happy, so he seeks help from his grandpa. Grandpa Ernest tells Mrs. Peacock he likes the purple flower in her hat best when she asks if he likes her gaudy chapeau. Frank thinks Grandpa has lied, but no: Grandpa only focused on the good things. Frank applies Grandpa's advice to good effect and serves up the honesty with "more sugar... / and less pepper." Earnhardt's debut is a humorous object lesson in honesty, though the central punniness will be lost on the audience without some explanation. Italian illustrator Castellani's blocky and bright Saturday-morning-cartoon–style illustrations amp the wackiness and make this frankly fun.
On-the-mark help for the parents of inadvertently tactless tots. (Picture book. 4-8)