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About the Author
Jim Benton is a writer and cartoonist whose unique brand of humor
has been seen on toys, television, T-shirts, greeting cards, and even
underwear. Franny K. Stein is the first character he's created especially
for young children. A husband and father of two, he lives in Michigan,
where he works in a studio that really and truly does have creepy stuff
in it. Visit him at www.frannykstein.com.
Read an Excerpt
The next day Franny came to school prepared to start her experiment. Before class she observed some of the girls playing with dolls. Franny was delighted. She knew about dolls.
She loved dolls. In fact she loved them so much that she had even made some special modifications to the ones she had at home.
She was just about to tell the girls how Chompolina could bite the heads off their dolls when she noticed something. Their dolls were all kind of...sweet, and pretty. They all had long hair and flowery dresses. Not a single one of them oozed uck. They didn't ooze anything.
Franny made a note to herself: Pretty, non-head-biting dolls, it said. And less oozing.
At lunchtime Franny sat down at a table with a bunch of kids. She was getting ready to take out her exquisitely delicious crab ravioli in pumpkin sauce when she made another observation.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on her left, lunch-meat sandwiches on her right. As far as Franny's eyes could see was a carpet of soft, white, squishy sandwiches.
No casseroles, no stews, no shish kebabs; just sandwiches.
"Is this all they ever eat?" she whispered to herself. And she made another note: Squashy sandwiches, it said. Franny stuffed her lunch into the trash.
During recess the kids decided to play softball. "I have the ball," one of them said.
"But we need a bat," another one said.
A bat! Franny thought. Finally. Something I understand! She reached into her backpack to get one.
Just then a little boy ran past her with a baseball bat. "Batter up!" he shouted.
"Hmmm," said Franny. "There's more thanone kind of bat."
As her classmates started playing, she took out her notebook and made another note: A bat can also be a big stick you use to hit things, she wrote.
Copyright © 2003 by James Benton