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Franklin's Big Dreams

Franklin's Big Dreams

5.0 2
by David Teague, Boris Kulikov (Illustrator)

Franklin's trying to sleep, but a construction crew has other plans. Each night there's a different project: railroad, canal, runway-and every one of them is being built in the middle of Franklin's bedroom. Where are all these people going? And why are they in Franklin's room? Franklin's determined to find out.

With equal measures of dreamy adventure and


Franklin's trying to sleep, but a construction crew has other plans. Each night there's a different project: railroad, canal, runway-and every one of them is being built in the middle of Franklin's bedroom. Where are all these people going? And why are they in Franklin's room? Franklin's determined to find out.

With equal measures of dreamy adventure and down-to-earth construction fun, this collaboration between new author David Teague and established illustrator Boris Kulikov is sure to be a favorite bedtime book in homes everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Teague debuts with a story about Franklin, a boy whose bedtime is repeatedly interrupted by the arrival of workmen with sheaves of plans, followed by gigantic planes and trains that roar through and quickly disappear (and that look suspiciously like the toys in his room). Franklin is remarkably cool about it all, though he's left lonely after the action dies down. By the time an ocean liner sails through a canal hastily dug through his room, he knows who he'll see on it ("Leaning against the bow rail was a kid whose ears stuck out in a memorable way") and what will happen afterward ("But after a while, he fell asleep and dreamed of seas no one had ever seen"). The next time the workman shows up, Franklin's figured out how the system works, and he's off to the moon. Kulikov (The Eraserheads) lavishes painterly attention on the giant transport, with rows of golden lights and indigo shadows, but leaves plenty of rough edges and scribbled lines, too. It's a cinematically scaled tale engineered for those who wish bedtime offered a little more action. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Franklin is staring at the moon one night, wishing he could go there, when a man with a sledgehammer breaks through his wall. "Comin' through!" he says. After that an enormous train thunders through the room. On it Franklin spots some familiar people, along with a boy in the last window. Then the man returns to take down the railroad because everyone "got where they needed to go." A week later, a man returns with a buzz saw. Soon a jet plane takes off from his room, again with familiar people and that boy. And again the runway is ripped up. Another night a man builds a canal for an ocean liner to sail in. Each time Franklin wishes he could have gone along, feels lonely, and dreams of adventures. But in the morning, when he looks at the back of his head in the mirror, he seems to understand who the boy was. So he tells the man who comes where he wants to go; and he does. Detailed double-page scenes produce melodramas, lots of action, intriguing arrivals set in the glow of the night, as Franklin watches from his bed with his dog. If there is a message here, it may be the power of imagination, for on the last double page we find Franklin on his way to the moon, with his dog awaiting him there. The moon, growing ever larger from earth, fills the front and end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2—One ordinary night, during his bedtime routine, Franklin gets a huge surprise: a construction crew comes crashing through the wall of his room. A foreman informs the surprised boy that he should be asleep, then continues with his work, laying tracks. While Franklin watches from the safety of his bed, a train comes whistling through, carrying some familiar faces. After it trundles away, the crew breaks up the track, leaving Franklin to a dream of rushing along train tracks through a moonlit forest. A week later, the same thing happens, only this time with a plane and later, a huge cruise ship. With each episode, Franklin spots a recognizable face onboard the vehicle, then has a dream of traveling to fantastic lands on wings or ocean waves. The next time his wall is breached, he finally catches on. He dictates where he would like to go in this dream sequence: a big round moon peeking through his window gives his destination away. While this is an interesting concept, it takes several readings to understand exactly what is going on in the bedroom. The illustrations, however, are quite beautiful, and the cool palette and soft lines add to the dreamy feel of the story. Each spread is more magnificent then the next, helping to build to the out-of-this-world conclusion.—Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews

Just before Franklin goes to sleep each night in this story, an engineer barges in and builds railroad tracks, canals and runways straight through his bedroom. Giant, glowing trains, ships and planes appear, carrying familiar people (his mailman, his dentist, his mom's boss) to an unknown destination. Young readers will watch along with Franklin, dumbstruck, as the rumbling machinery plows through his walls and into the night. Illustrations with powerful perspectives capture the jarring otherworldliness of dreams. Readers face the broad side of a ship towering three stories high; they cower beneath a jet's roaring belly. Dark blues and purples plunge readers into the murkiness of night, where nothing is quite clear, and clouds both frame and obscure portions of each page. While action-packed and full of vivid language, the book's ambiguity leaves readers feeling frustrated and fuzzy. When Franklin recognizes his own tousled head at the back of the rows of midnight express passengers, he suddenly "figure[s] out what's going on." Many readers never will. After so many weird, woozy nights, it is hard to piece together Franklin's mind-blowing revelation. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

David Teague is a writer and teacher based in Wilmington, Delaware. He was a recipient of the Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship in fiction. This is his first picture book.

Boris Kulikov (www.boriskulikov.com) is the illustrator of many books for children, including Max's Words by Kate Banks (a School Library Journal Best Book of 2006), The Perfect Friend by Yelena Romanova (a Child Magazine Best Book of 2005), and Morris the Artist by Lore Segal. He graduated from the Institute of Theatre, Music, and Cinema in St. Petersburg, Russia. He now lives in New York, New York.

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Franklin's Big Dreams 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
4MartyAnne More than 1 year ago
I am an aunt, a great-aunt, a surrogate auntie, and I have some training in library science. I recommend this for library story-time and parent-child reading! This book is worth every penny. David Teague clearly has kids and knows how to appeal to their imaginations! This is a great book for reading aloud and has wonderful illustrations. A great bed-time book. Check it out, and you, like me, will want to buy it for your favorite little ones and young readers, too. A very fun story!
Suzanne_L More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book that beautifully incorporates the dream world with the child's waking world of imagination. The illustrations are georgeous and dreamy in their own right. Great to read aloud with a child!