Adventure of Louey and Frank

Overview

Steady she goes! Louey and Frank are headed to sea in a boat made from old shoes, with a sock for a sail. A one-of-a-kind voyage is assured, especially since Louey and Frand disagree about a lot of things—like whether their picnicking spot is a big gray rock with a geyser…or a whale with a blowhole. But there is one thing the two friends do agree on when they finally limp into their home port courtesy of a prickly log (or is it a fish with prickers?). That was an adventure…and young children will agree! A breath ...
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Overview

Steady she goes! Louey and Frank are headed to sea in a boat made from old shoes, with a sock for a sail. A one-of-a-kind voyage is assured, especially since Louey and Frand disagree about a lot of things—like whether their picnicking spot is a big gray rock with a geyser…or a whale with a blowhole. But there is one thing the two friends do agree on when they finally limp into their home port courtesy of a prickly log (or is it a fish with prickers?). That was an adventure…and young children will agree! A breath of fresh sea air from Carolyn White and Laura Dronzek!

About the Authors:
Carolyn White is a folklorist, professional storyteller, and author. She lives in East Lansing, MI.

Laura Dronzek is the illustrator fo Oh! by Kevin Henkes. She lives in Madison, WI.

Two friends, a bear and a rabbit, build a boat out of shoes, but after their trip at sea, the only thing on which they agree is that their experience was an adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Louey the rabbit and Frank the bear share an argumentative friendship, never agreeing on anything. When they embark on a sea journey in Carolyn White's The Adventure of Louey and Frank, the trip is sometimes funny and sometimes scary. Sailing away on a boat that consists of two shoes tied together and a sock for a sail, Frank and Louey come upon something big, blue, and humpy in the middle of the sea. They can't agree on what it is; Louey says it's a rock, Frank thinks it's a whale. The identity of the big blue hump is made clear with the presence of a blowhole and an eye, but it quickly becomes a moot point when Frank and Louey are caught in a storm and tossed into the sea.

Things look dire for the adventuresome duo, yet despite their inability to agree on anything, they manage to work together to survive. And in the end they finally do find some common ground, agreeing that their trip was quite an adventure. As a professional storyteller and folklorist, White gathers tales from all over Europe. The Adventure of Louey and Frank is based on one such tale, an Irish legend about how Saint Brendan and his monks camped on the back of a whale named Jasconius. Dronzek illustrates the tale with vibrant drawings that favor rich, jewel-like colors and provide for plenty of visual entertainment.

--Beth Amos

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two quarrelsome friends go to sea in this sly puzzler, which playfully refuses to provide closure. At first, even the characters' identities are in doubt. Louey and Frank appear to be stuffed animals who board a floating pair of pink tennis shoes. The indirect narrative offers clues to who's who ("Louey waved at the fishes. Frank tossed marshmallows at the birds"), while the placid pictures present a white rabbitish fellow and a brown teddy bear with wide-open button eyes and a startled pink o for a mouth. When the sailors encounter a "blue and humpy" shape in the water, they debate whether it's a whale or a rock; when they see a spiny brown object, they disagree over whether it's a fish or a log. White remains coy about the truth of the matter, and she plays on words to emphasize the nonsense; as Louey and Frank sit atop the whale-rock, "It rolled. 'Hold on tight,' said Louey. 'The rock's rocking.' " Dronzek's (Oh!) sedate acrylic paintings reveal isolated details like a target-shaped eye or a mouthful of blunt teeth, but never show an entire ocean creature; neither Louey nor Frank is absolutely correct. For all the quirky mystery, the volume exudes gentleness and mimics an occasionally silly game of let's-pretend. Ages 4-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
One day, best friends Louey and Frank, a bear and a rabbit, agree to build a boat out of two old shoes tied together and a sock for a sail. After that, all they can agree on is that they are having fun together on this mixed-up adventure at sea. Louey thinks they've landed on a rock while Frank thinks they've landed on a whale. Frank says they are riding on a fish, while Louey says they are riding on a log. Throughout, the two friends accept their differences of opinion with good humor. Of course, there is also a scary storm at sea. Kids will enjoy finding out how Louey and Frank manage to get out of trouble. The bold, bright illustrations are filled with detail and a delightful sense of fantasy. The text encourages the reader to use his or her imagination, too. A fun read. 2001, Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, $14.95 and $14.89. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Sitting by a pond one day, Louey the Rabbit and Frank the Bear decide to tie some old (giant-sized) shoes together and use them to sail out to sea, armed with pickle sandwiches and a bag of marshmallows. They sail along until they reach a blue bump poking from the waves and then debate whether it is a rock or a whale. This conversation continues even after the "rock" eats their marshmallows, throws the two into the sea, and abandons them. Finally, the two latch on to what might be a log or a fish and reach the shore. They agree that whether it was a rock or a whale, it was an adventure. The static figures of Louey and Frank, whose facial expressions never change despite being thrown into the roiling sea and witnessing their boat being eaten by sharks, are buoyed by vivid backgrounds of waves and fish. Combined with the simplistic text, which has an odd rhyming consistency, the book fails to convince readers that the protagonists are indeed having an adventure.-Holly Belli, Bergen County Cooperative Library System, West Caldwell, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688165031
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Carolyn White

Q. How did you get your start writing children's stories? How does your interest in folklore intersect with the stories you create?

A. I'm a folklorist, with a great love of Irish lore. In fact, I live in Ireland every other summer, in a small coastal village. My first book, printed in Ireland, A History of Irish Fairies, gives the lowdown on fairies: what they look like, how they act, how to encounter them, what provokes them. The book was written for adults, but the stories they contain -- of battling giants and clever women, of leprechauns and the treasures they keep hidden --are a source of great delight to children. So I began to tell them, becoming in the process a storyteller, visiting schools throughout Michigan, where I live most of the year.

One day I was asked to write a book entitled One Hundred Stories for the Teachers of Pre-School Children. I was given a contract and away I went, writing stories, mostly from folklore. After awhile I began to make up my own stories, often using folklore elements. As I was writing story #80, the editor called to tell me he was canceling the book. That's when my real work began. I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (the greatest boon to new writers!) and began reading children's books voraciously. I began turning my most loved stories into picture books and consequently story #80, "The Tree House Children," became my first published picture book. I've always been pleased that the editor didn't call me as I was writing #79.

I call myself an inadvertent children's book writer. But I am delighted to be able to write for young people.

Q. What kind of folklore are you interested in? How do you go about researching it?

A. I'm interested in how people react to the land they live in. How do they feel toward their mountains or flatlands or their waterways? Are they scared of them? Do they love them? What stories do they make up about the natural world they live in, stories that they feel are so important they must be passed down to the next generations? Germany, which used to be 89% forest, gives us folk stories of terrifying children-eating witches, whereas Irish folklore has nothing scarier than a pooka, a goatlike creature which gives drunken men a wild midnight ride.

Irish folklore is my greatest love: it lets us slip so easily from the natural to the supernatural world. A woman can walk up the hill behind her house and wind up in fairyland, where she dances so hard for seven years she dances off her toes. But I also have a fondness for Romanian folklore in which a restless, proactive young Devil is always provoking his lazy big brother, God, to create the world. And I often turn to Native American folklore to understand better the vast and naturally rich continent I live on.

In the western world it's difficult to study narrative folklore except from books. Few folk live on the land. When the old people die, their stories go with them. I have been fortunate to meet -- in Ireland, in Louisiana, and elsewhere -- people who still cherish thousand-year-old beliefs and tell the old stories. But most of my knowledge of narrative folklore comes from books, lots of books, the more ancient the better.

Q. I understand that The Adventure of Louey and Frank is based on an old Irish legend. Can you tell me about that legend and how it inspired you to write this story?

A. In the sixth century Saint Brendan and his monks got into a hide-covered boat and sailed for seven years. They had extraordinary adventures, not the least of which was their camping on the back of the whale, Jasconius. The whale throws them off, taking their cooking pot with him. Nevertheless, every Easter for seven years the monks return to Jasconius, where they recite prayers and again cook their supper.

I've told the story of the Voyage of Saint Brendan many times. It comes from a tenth-century Latin manuscript, "Navigatio Sancti Brendani," describing the Irish saint's adventures in the Faroe Islands, the Azores, and then on to what has to be the Caribbean, and up to Iceland. It was a bestseller in Gutenberg's day. Christopher Columbus read it. In fact, the map he used, Torcinelli's of 1474, indicates Saint Brendan's Isle in the Caribbean. That's where Columbus was heading. In Galway, Ireland, a monument honoring Columbus states that he had come to the town to question sailors about Saint Brendan's voyage.

Q. What elements of the legend did you find most important to bring into your tale?

A. In The Adventure of Louey and Frank, I only used the small bit about the whale. But I have such a vivid image of Saint Brendan's monks looking amazed at their cooking pot, a red fire under it, being carried off on the back of a whale.

Q. What message did you want to convey to young readers?

A. I'm not very good at messages. "Don't build fires on the backs of whales" is a possibility. But I think there's little fear of children doing so. The Adventure of Louey and Frank is about friendship, about two friends who can't agree but who like each other nevertheless.

Q. Who are Louey and Frank? Are these characters based on people you know?

A. I never knew who or what Louey and Frank were. I suspected they might be mice. They had to be small enough to sail in old shoes. Usually I tell a story to thousands of children before I even dare to turn it into a picture book. But the language in this story is so precise I couldn't tell it to an audience. So I never really visualized our two heroes.

Just now I looked at the original, handwritten manuscript. Even in the early beginning Louey and Frank knew their positions and were arguing with great gusto. I haven't a clue whom they're based on. They're simply themselves.

By the way, The Adventure of Louey and Frank was #60 in my list of One Hundred Stories for the Teachers of Pre-School Children, between #59, "Gina and the Dragon," and #61, "Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear Mow the Lawn."

Q. How did you and illustrator Laura Dronzek work together to bring visual images to your story? Do you feel that the artwork captured the story as you imagined it?

A. After The Adventure of Louey and Frank was accepted by Greenwillow, I sent my editor information on Saint Brendan and the whale Jasconius, in hopes that the illustrations might have an Irish feel. But I made no strong request. I was greatly pleased by Laura Dronzek's sense of color and was hoping she would do something beyond what I could imagine.

That Louey was a stuffed rabbit and Frank a stuffed bear came as a surprise to me. But I liked them that way. They're perfect, far better than mice. They can pelt each other and not get hurt. They can be tossed about in the sea and the reader's heart -- my heart --will not crack with worry.

Q. What was your favorite aspect of writing this story?

A. The language. I love the fights in half-rhymes and rhythms.

Q&A courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

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