No 2: The Frank Show, David Mackintosh, Harper Collins, $24.95
WHEN I was in primary school I was a BIG fan of Show & Tell which probably partly explains why all these years later I’m here, tapping away and yammering on about books. I distinctly remember getting up in front of the class to talk about a ‘special’ person in my life – was it my parents? Did I choose a sibling or an uncle or aunt? No. I chose, of all people, Ned Kelly. Maybe I was self-concious and I thought my own family was too boring (possible). Maybe I wanted to impress my tiny classmates? We’ll never really know…
Anyway. This brings me to The Frank Show by Belfast born David Mackinstosh. I was mad for this book the moment I saw it on the shelf at The Avenue Bookstore. It’s all about a little boy who has to bring a member of his family to school for Show&Tell. Mum and Dad are too busy so that leaves his less than fascinating grandad, Frank. Other kids have exciting relatives; Tom’s Uncle is a musician, Barbara’s bringing in a colour photo of her Nan’s “mobility scooter” and Kristian’s dad is on the tv. Frank? He’s a grumpy, bespectacled bloke who thinks all doctors are quacks, doesn’t like fancy food or “gizmos”.
The day finally arrives and the little boy reluctantly introduces Frank to his class and lists all the dull, boring bits about his grandad. THEN Frank takes the stage and something remarkable happens…
Funny, smart, astute, The Frank Show subtly reminds readers (without being preachy) about the importance of valuing an older generation and ‘seeing’ the people who are closest to us – as people who have lived a full and exciting (even thrilling) life.
The illustrations are a happy collision of scratches, dots and colours that gives the book a slightly retro feel.
Readers three and up (and up).
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