Appealing both to the eye and the heart, and even though children are unlikely to catch the literary references, their...

FRANK 'N' STAN

A heartwarming tale of a boy and his robot.

Young Franklin P. Shelley often asks his mother for a younger sibling; her response is always, "We'll see" (his father’s eyes pop in alarm behind his newspaper). Industrious Frank decides to take matters into his own hands and sets out to build one. Frank works hard at his drafting table on the plans, scours Byron's Scrap Metal for parts, and slowly but surely ("nut by bolt, sprocket by socket") puts Stan together. Frank charges up the battery, and the light in Stan's chest begins to glow: "Stan was ALIVE!" Mum and Dad find Stan a bit...different, but his household industry wins them over. One day, Mum surprises Frank with a cute baby girl, and the boy begins to spend more time with his sister, Mary, and less with Stan. One snowy evening, Stan leaves. It doesn't take long for him to freeze or for the family to miss him. A big hug convinces the big mechanical lug to return, which seems to please Mary most of all. The realism in Robertson's pen-and-watercolor illustrations highlights the mechanical paraphernalia even as it wordlessly tracks Mum’s expanding belly, adding a sci-fi dimension to this warm tale of family and friendship.

Appealing both to the eye and the heart, and even though children are unlikely to catch the literary references, their parents will chuckle over them. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-84780-130-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A nicely inventive little morality “tail” for newly independent readers.

THE INFAMOUS RATSOS

From the Infamous Ratsos series , Vol. 1

Two little rats decide to show the world how tough they are, with unpredictable results.

Louie and Ralphie Ratso want to be just like their single dad, Big Lou: tough! They know that “tough” means doing mean things to other animals, like stealing Chad Badgerton’s hat. Chad Badgerton is a big badger, so taking that hat from him proves that Louie and Ralphie are just as tough as they want to be. However, it turns out that Louie and Ralphie have just done a good deed instead of a bad one: Chad Badgerton had taken that hat from little Tiny Crawley, a mouse, so when Tiny reclaims it, they are celebrated for goodness rather than toughness. Sadly, every attempt Louie and Ralphie make at doing mean things somehow turns nice. What’s a little boy rat supposed to do to be tough? Plus, they worry about what their dad will say when he finds out how good they’ve been. But wait! Maybe their dad has some other ideas? LaReau keeps the action high and completely appropriate for readers embarking on chapter books. Each of the first six chapters features a new, failed attempt by Louie and Ralphie to be mean, and the final, seventh chapter resolves everything nicely. The humor springs from their foiled efforts and their reactions to their failures. Myers’ sprightly grayscale drawings capture action and characters and add humorous details, such as the Ratsos’ “unwelcome” mat.

A nicely inventive little morality “tail” for newly independent readers. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7636-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A celebration of letters that gently gives young readers the knowledge and tools to share the love.

HOW TO SEND A HUG

Hugs are for everyone anytime they need a little extra love, but how can you hug a person who lives far away?

Talking on the phone or via computer isn’t enough, but luckily Artie shares a way to send a hug—by writing a letter. Infused with the love a hug carries, these step-by-step instructions begin with finding the right writing implement and paper and taking plenty of time for this important task. The story then follows the letter’s journey from the mail drop through a variety of possible transports (“by two legs and four legs, by four wheels and two wheels”) to the magic of delivery and the even greater joy of getting a reply. Readers as lucky as Artie will receive a return letter that carries the scent of its writer, like Grandma Gertie’s missive, filled with rose petals. Fun wording, like putting the letter in a “special jacket to keep it safe and warm” (an envelope), sticking “a ticket” on the envelope “in just the right spot” (a stamp), and the letter being picked up by a “Hug Delivery Specialist” (postal worker), adds humor, as does Artie’s ever present pet duck. Artie and Grandma Gertie present White; the postal workers and the other people depicted receiving letters throughout are racially and geographically diverse. The realistic illustrations in pencil, watercolor, and digital color expand the story and add a layer of love and humor. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A celebration of letters that gently gives young readers the knowledge and tools to share the love. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-30692-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more