Overview

Being a duck isn’t all it’s quacked up to be.

But don’t try telling that to Frank—he’s a chicken with a dream. All he thinks about are webbed feet, waterproof feathers, and the cool water of the pond. So when Frank takes a dip and nearly drowns, his mood turns foul. Luckily, he gets a little human help—in the form of a man-made wet suit and a pair of flippers—and soon he’s ...
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Funny Frank

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Overview

Being a duck isn’t all it’s quacked up to be.

But don’t try telling that to Frank—he’s a chicken with a dream. All he thinks about are webbed feet, waterproof feathers, and the cool water of the pond. So when Frank takes a dip and nearly drowns, his mood turns foul. Luckily, he gets a little human help—in the form of a man-made wet suit and a pair of flippers—and soon he’s the speediest bird in the water. And while Frank knows he’s ruffled a few feathers, he doesn’t care—there’s just too much for him to crow about.

Until a certain young chick catches his eye, that is. . . .


From the Hardcover edition.

Gertie the hen is appalled when her son Frank wants to swim with the ducks, but Jemima and her mother, the farmer's wife, make him a special outfit so that his dream can come true.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This cheery twist on the ugly duckling story finds a barnyard chick named Frank longing to be a duck. From the moment he's hatched, Frank spends all his time at the edge of the pond. "Chickens can't swim," his worried mother tells him, but he tries anyway with near-disastrous results. Frank is rescued by the farmer's daughter who, with the help of her veterinarian uncle and dressmaker mother, devises a little wet suit for him out of an old hot-water bottle and makes flippers from rubber gloves. Frank quickly becomes not only a speed demon on the pond, out-swimming his web-footed pals, but also a hero when he saves his mother from a fox. Nevertheless full happiness eludes him ("He was after all a chicken at heart"), and when a speckled pullet named Gorgeous catches his eye, he finally learns to embrace life on land. Thoroughly engaging, this story trips along in typically breezy King-Smith (Babe the Gallant Pig) fashion, deftly flipping perspectives between that of the anthropomorphized barnyard animals and the human characters. Chipper dialogue, generous helpings of humor and a lickety-split plot add up to an amusing chapter book. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 7-10. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
"This cheery twist on the ugly duckling story finds a barnyard chick longing to be a duck," wrote PW, praising its "chipper dialogue, generous helpings of humor and a lickety-split plot." Ages 7-10. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
On this farm, Frank the chick is fascinated by ducks and is determined to swim like they do. When his efforts result in a predictable sinking, eight-year-old Jenny and her mother make the chick a rubber suit from a hot water bottle and Frank is happy to swim around the pond. That is, until he's old enough to find a girlfriend and the adventure is over...or just beginning. If readers can buy the premise that a chick would indeed float with a rubber suit and could paddle with webbed feet made from rubber gloves, this book is a funny read. Frank's mother is aghast, Jenny's family is helpful if skeptical, and interaction between animals and humans mirrors what children would hope—sympathetic, helpful, and one assumes, all vegetarian. Eastwood's scribbly black line drawings appear two to three on each double-page spread, and there's plenty of bantering conversation, giving the book an inviting plenty of white space. While it's not as strongly plotted or as emotionally satisfying as King-Smith's longer books like Babe: The Gallant Pig, it's light and fluffy and can entertain second and third grader readers or the whole family in read-aloud sessions. 2002, Knopf,
— Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-An amusing chapter book about a chick that wants to be a duck. Eight-year-old Jemima notices Frank's fascination with the ducks and, with assistance from her parents and uncle, tries to help him learn to swim. A wet suit made from a hot-water bottle allows the chick to float, but he still can't glide across the pond like the ducks. Later, however, some chick-sized flippers give him serious speed in the water. Accepted at last by his new friends, Frank returns to his true nature, but not before befuddling a fox and saving his Mum. King-Smith's easygoing narrative makes this a pleasant variation of "The Ugly Duckling." Though the notion of a swimming chick has slapstick potential, the author builds the humor gently, without resorting to caricature. Jemima approaches her trial-and-error attempts to help her chick with logic and earnestness. Frank is the hero of the story, but seeing him through the humans' eyes, and through the eyes of his embarrassed mother, shows how others in the farmyard community regard his antics. Simple black-and-white illustrations appear on most pages, neatly matching the restrained fun of the words. Fairly short chapters and an easy-to-follow plot make this a fine choice for early chapter-book readers.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A misfit chick achieves his heart's desire only to outgrow it, in King-Smith's (Lady Lollipop, 2001, etc.) latest barnyard charmer. Frank's karma differs from that of his seven newly hatched brothers and sisters, for from the very beginning he yearns to swim with the ducks. Seeing this, his young, human guardian Jemima Tabb enlists adult aid, and soon Frank-so dubbed for his call, which is mid-way between a cheep and a quack-is clad in a little wetsuit crafted from an old hot-water bottle, and zooming about the pond on rubber-glove flippers. But though Frank is accepted by the ducklings (" ‘Love your gear, man! It's cool!' "), and even saves his mother by startling a fox, he still feels like an outsider. As in the story, humans and animals mingle freely in loosely drawn ink sketches, showing the same distress, concern, confusion, and joy. Ultimately, Frank blithely demonstrates that it was all a phase by quickly shedding his swimming gear when a pretty new pullet arrives. Parents of wayward children may be reassured, but for younger readers of independent stripe, the message here seems more than a little condescending. Still, it is a story about a chicken in a wetsuit, as only King-Smith could conceive. (Fiction. 8-10)
From the Publisher
“Thoroughly engaging . . . chipper dialogue, generous helpings of humor and a lickety-split plot add up to an amusing chapter book.”–Publishers Weekly

“Amusing . . . a fine choice for early chapter-book readers.”–School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307525406
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/25/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 664,595
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Dick King-Smith was a farmer for 20 years before turning to teaching and then to writing the children’s books that have earned him many fans on both sides of the Atlantic.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What has the world come to?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Frank

    It was funny that a chick wanted to be duck. Then he went back to his mom in the end and he relized he is happpy to be a chick

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    People, it's KID'S book. Lighten up.

    My little brother really loved it =)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Shit

    Oh my god this is retarded.(so is the author)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    OOPAA GANDAM STYLE!!!!!!!!!?

    ?????????¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿\\<<>>][}{¿^=?\¿|¿

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008

    Dick King Smiths 2nd best book.

    This was an excellent book. My favorite part was when Frank got a swimsuit and a pair of flippers. Also when they proved Gerties friend wrong that Frank is a good chick because he saved his mother Gerties life from a fox. This is his 2nd best book because Titus Rules is the best.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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