Donna W. Earnhardt
32 Pages Ages: 4 to 7
Inside Jacket: “Honesty is the best policy.” That’s Frank’s motto. He tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Bit Frank’s overly frank comments tend to annoy his friends, his teachers, and even his mother—and now Frank is honestly unhappy.
He decides to visit his confidant and pal, Grandpa Ernest, who has a history of frankness himself. A few outrageous hats, a spicy jar of relish, and some grandfatherly wisdom help Frank realize that the truth is best served with more sugar and less pepper.
Frank tells the truth all the time. It does not matter whom he is talking to. One of his friend’s “. . . singing is kind of shrieky.” His mom has wrinkles, but wouldn’t if she did not glare at Frank the way she does. Oh, yeah—
“And by the way—you’re speeding.”
Frank’s honesty is best policy does not impress his friends, teachers, or his mom. Only the police like Frank’s honesty is best policy.
“Yes, officer,” he said. “She knew how fast she was going. I told her.”
With his friends, teachers, and mom upset and unhappy, Frank becomes unhappy, so he goes to his grandpa for advice. Grandpa, like Frank, is honest with others, but with a difference.
I like this story. It is definitely a “message” story with one goal in mind. Frank has the best name, though I doubt a four-year-old will get it, I like the pun. Frank’s frankness can drive a wedge between him and others. Kids caught in a lie are often told to always tell the truth; you can’t get in trouble if you tell the truth. Frank found out that advice is not always true, but also confuses Grandpa’s tactful responses as lying. Will Frank find a way to always be honest and still not hurt any feelings?
The illustrations are colorful, and cute but not exciting. Frank has huge teeth that take up half of his head and one eye bigger than the other. I think the eye difference is supposed to show depth of field. Kids and parents will like everything about this book. The message is clear, there is lots of humor—including in the illustrations—and the advice from grandpa is great advice that we can all use.
Parents can easily make grandpa’s advice into a game. While watching TV, pause on someone and ask the kids what they think of the person’s hat, cloths, whatever. I am sure it will be fun, illuminating, and worth the time. Or go to the activities at the publisher website (see below), where there are all sorts of fun things for kids to do. After reading Being Frank, of course.
Being Frank is a good book for not only those kids who always tell the truth — even when it hurts— but also for those that do not like to tell the truth. Both can use grandpa’s advice. This is a debut picture book for the author. She has made a wonderful first book. I think Being Frank should be a Parent’s Choice Award book for 2012.
Author: Donna W. Earnhardt website Illustrator: Andrea Castellani website Publisher: Flashlight Press website Activities Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 978-1-9362611-9-2 Number of Pages: 32 Ages: 4 to 7
Copyright ©2012 Donna W. Earnhardt, Andrea Castellani, & Flashlight Press, used with permission