Being Frank

( 2 )

Overview

Frank follows the motto, "Honesty is the best policy." He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Frank never lies to his schoolmates, he always tells the truth to adults, and he’s always honest with police officers. The balancing act of finding tact, that fine line between telling the truth and telling too much truth, is the main theme of this story, and it's very funny—although not necessarily to his friend Dotti whose freckles remind Frank of the Big Dipper, or to the teacher who hears ...

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Overview

Frank follows the motto, "Honesty is the best policy." He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Frank never lies to his schoolmates, he always tells the truth to adults, and he’s always honest with police officers. The balancing act of finding tact, that fine line between telling the truth and telling too much truth, is the main theme of this story, and it's very funny—although not necessarily to his friend Dotti whose freckles remind Frank of the Big Dipper, or to the teacher who hears that her breath smells like onions, or to the principal who is told that his toupee looks like a weasel. No one is quite as impressed with Frank’s honesty as he thinks they should be. He is sweet and straightforward, and, well, very frank, but with everyone annoyed at him, Frank is now honestly unhappy. He decides to visit his confidante and pal, Grandpa Ernest, who has a history of frankness himself. With a few lessons from Grandpa, Frank begins to understand that the truth is important, but so is not being hurtful. With amusing characters and expressive artwork, this story tells the powerful message of finding the good in everything—a lesson that sends compassion and understanding to take the place of rudeness in the complex concept of truth.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whether children understand the titular pun on the word “frank,” they’ll understand the difference between the kind of frankness Frank starts out with (“Your singing is kind of shrieky,” he tells a classmate) and the kind he ends up with (“You sure can hit those high notes,” he says to the same classmate after a heart-to-heart with his tactful Grandpa Ernest). Newcomer Earnhardt makes her point with solid pacing and lots of laughs: “She knew how fast she was going,” Frank tells a police officer who’s pulled over his mother. “I told her.” Grandpa Ernest’s demonstration of diplomacy is low-key. “Well,” he says when a neighbor asks him about her gaudy hat, “there are an awful lot of flowers up there. But my favorite is the purple one in the middle.” Italian illustrator Castellani’s digital artwork is crisp, colorful, and energetic, though somewhat generic. Since Earnhardt’s story stands sturdily on its own, though, it doesn’t detract from its impact. While Frank might not persuade sharp-tongued children to mend their ways, the story provides a useful array of good ways to deliver bad news. Ages 5–7. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Earnhardt's debut is a humorous object lesson in honesty. . . . 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." —Kirkus Reviews (September 2012)

"Newcomer Earnhardt makes her point with solid pacing and lots of laughs. . . . Italian illustrator Castellani's digital artwork is crisp, colorful, and energetic. . . . While Frank might not persuade sharp-tongued children to mend their ways, the story provides a useful array of good ways to deliver bad news." —Publishers Weekly (September 17, 2012)

"This cute and captivating story demonstrates to kids how being brutally honest isn't always necessary. . . . Earnhardt's book is a thoughtful approach in teaching kids to always stay honest, but to be mindful of emotions and soften their approach." —Michigan Reading Journal (September 2012)

"A lesson-to-be-learned book . . . but Earnhardt is so, well, frank about it that kids will laugh right along with Frank's every miscue. . . . Castellani's bright, glossy, retro-styled Photoshop illustrations pop with frantic energy. For kids who need to know that honesty isn't always the best policy." —www.BooklistOnline.com

"Well-named characters and their true-to-life foibles. . . . The awkward situations in which they find themselves . . . are humorous in their accuracy. . . . Cartoonish illustrations add to the fun. Laugh-out-loud funny Being Frank teaches a lesson with humor and sincerity." —www.CityBookReview.com

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Frank's policy in life is "Honesty is the best policy," but when his unvarnished honesty gets him in hot water with his friends, his teachers, and finally, his mom, Frank begins to realize that others do not embrace his truthfulness in the way he might expect. A visit to his Grandpa Ernest's and watching his very savvy grandfather respond to an out-of-this-world hat as well as a friend looking for advice on his relish helps Frank to understand that sometimes, we can be honest without being hurtful. Taking this new knowledge to heart, Frank is able to find a positive attribute in all of his friends and teachers and comment on those; he even manages to make his mom feel better by writing her a poem commenting on her "not so grey" hair. The illustrations are vivid and fit the dynamic of the book very well. This is a great book for younger readers as they learn more about how to interact with others in their lives with language use that supports good intentions. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Frank says what he thinks. No one, from a "shrieky" classmate to his toupee-wearing principal, really appreciates his opinions. Even his mother, who speeds and has wrinkles, isn't safe from her son's unvarnished comments. With everyone angry with him, the boy begins to question whether honesty is indeed the best policy. He gets some sage advice from Grandpa and learns to tell the truth without hurting people's feelings. The quirky cartoon-style illustrations boost the entertainment value of this picture book, whose message is delivered with humor. Great for reading aloud and for discussions on being diplomatic.—Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936261192
  • Publisher: Flashlight Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 81,491
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna W. Earnhardt writes children's stories, poetry, songs, and mysteries. She has been published in such magazines as Highlights for Children and the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators newsletter, and by Blue Mountain Arts. She lives in Concord, North Carolina. Andrea Castellani is an animator, a director, and a concept artist for Cartobaleno Animation Studio. He has won numerous awards for his animation and directorial talents and his art has been exhibited at the Davico Art Gallery in Torino and at the Mitreo Art Gallery in Rome. He is the illustrator of books that include Ciccio Frittata, Wild Imagination, and Perle: Winx Club.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 25, 2012

    Children's picture books, nice as they are, have a drawback: the

    Children's picture books, nice as they are, have a drawback: the words must be read aloud by an adult--and let's face it, it's a kid's book.
    However, BEING FRANK is one of those rare, hilarious picture books that even Mom and Dad won't mind reading, over and over.

    The book is illustrated with bright, sophisticated pictures that are as funny as the text.
    Frank is a boy who embodies his name, saying aloud anything that pops into his head.
    As you might imagine, this makes for hurt feelings.
    Friends, neighbors and classmates and are angry.
    Even his mother is irked by his FRANK remarks.
    Only one person understands his problem and can help him learn a new way to tell the FRANK, but palatable truth.

    Author Donna Earnhardt's witty, yet down-to-earth prose makes "read it to me" a welcome invitation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 24, 2012

    This is an excelent book to teach children(and maybe a few adult

    This is an excelent book to teach children(and maybe a few adults) the art of telling the truth in a nice way. I recomend it to all those parents or grandparents out there who "draw up" when their child is asked a question ! A delightful book!

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