When Frank Was Four

Overview

Here is a cheerful scrapbook of the small hurdles and accomplishments of childhood, featuring the familiar cast of characters from Clive Eats Alligators. The seven children are followed as they grow from age one to seven, each in their own special way.

Describes the new accomplishments and experiences of seven children from the time they are one-year-olds until they reach the age of seven.

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Overview

Here is a cheerful scrapbook of the small hurdles and accomplishments of childhood, featuring the familiar cast of characters from Clive Eats Alligators. The seven children are followed as they grow from age one to seven, each in their own special way.

Describes the new accomplishments and experiences of seven children from the time they are one-year-olds until they reach the age of seven.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Another delightful celebration of individualism from the creator of Clive Eats Alligators." Horn Book

"Another delightful celebration of individualism from the creator of Clive Eats Alligators." Horn Book Guide

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers familiar with Lester's Clive Eats Alligators or Tessa Snaps Snakes will recognize the affable characters whose anecdotal childhood experiences are so fondly celebrated here. Accompanied by single sentences, Lester's characteristically streamlined panel pictures spotlight feats performed by each of seven children during each of his or her first seven years. Some of the incidents are classic misadventures ("When Nicky was one she spilled spaghetti on her head"; "But Frank parachuted off the garage roof"); some are milestones ("Tessa took her first steps"; "Clive took off his training wheels"); and some are kid-pleasingly silly ("A kangaroo stole Rosie's french fries"; "Ernie climbed into the fish tank"). A concluding, colorfully crowded spread presents a counting exercise: pictures of the children are found alongside cumulative sequences of "their" objects (for example, Rosie has "1 cowgirl hat, 2 riding boots," etc.). A cheerful book, likely to elicit a new wave of questions from kids who never tire of asking what they did when they were "little." Ages 2-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-This book marks the yearly growth of a set of characters first introduced in Lester's Clive Eats Alligators (Houghton, 1991). It offers no surprises- just more of a very good thing. The author follows the seven children through their first seven years, citing distinctive behaviors and accomplishments along the way. "When Clive was three, he danced in his cousin's tutu." At four, "Nicky cut off her braids." At six, "Ernie's lizard had babies." The kids' characteristics are beautifully universal; only the occasional koala or kangaroo suggests the title's Australian origins. The delightful artwork, done in watercolor with pen and ink, reinforces the fresh ideas and bright tone. Layout is playful, with story details appearing as components of borders and designs. On the final two pages, there's a counting chart with numerals representing the youngsters' possessions. A versatile title that is full of possibilities.-Liza Bliss, Worcester Public Library, MA
Stephanie Zvirin
With the ebullience and charm of "Clive Eats Alligators" (1986), Lester takes another look at the antics of Australian children Frank, Clive, Rosie, and friends. Six homey, captioned pictures decorating double-page spreads capture incidents in the lives of the children as they grow from infancy to elementary-school age--little ones wheeling dollies, eating the cat's food, and giving up diapers (and "peeing" in the grocery store); older ones biking, losing themselves in imaginative play, and giving a special friend a first kiss. In between are full-page pictures of the children at some particularly memorable moment: Frank parachuting off the garage roof; Celeste appearing in her first ballet. Each of the captioned pictures not only tells a story but also can inspire one, and the endpapers are covered with sets of colorful objects that are ideal for identifying and counting. What's more, the artwork is bursting with the sort of tiny details that little ones love to peruse.
Kirkus Reviews
A brilliantly conceived book about seven children, consisting entirely of variations on the same phrase: "When Nicky was one she spilled spaghetti on her head. Frank bit the dog. Tessa took her first steps . . . And Rosie said `Horse.' " A small scene of each event appears above the line of text. On the next page, accompanied by a full-page illustration, is a screwy sort of punchline, e.g., "But Clive smashed the china at his Great Grandmother's birthday party." For each of the next six years, the same pattern is repeated, with a different character leading off, and a different one delivering the punchline. The captions are wonderfully turned miniatures, simultaneously simple and inventive. Most of the time the text and pictures are hilarious, and even when the text is not explicitly funny, the picture makes it so. Lester (Yikes!, 1995, etc.) provides her characteristic watercolors, depicting irresistibly independent children in ever-changing sequence; perhaps her books should never be fully absorbed in just one sitting. A counting/memory game closes the book; the entire venture is unique in design and executed to perfection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395742754
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/3/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.57 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Australian author Alison Lester is perhaps best known for her picture books. However, she captivated her audience with her first novel, The Quicksand Pony. In a starred review School Library Journal called it 'a gripping adventure story, a tale of survival, an engaging mystery, a touching animal story, and a family saga.�

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