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Franklin and Harriet

by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark, illus.

In the latest in Paulette Bourgeois’ and Brenda Clark’s popular series, Franklin experiences the ups and downs of being a big brother, and through the course of the story learns an important lesson about sharing.

In the opening pages, Franklin enjoys his new role, helping his sister Harriet to dress and playing with her at the park. But things turn sour when Harriet becomes attached to Franklin’s favourite stuffed dog, Sam, whose tail gets ripped off when the two turtles fight over it. After this event, Franklin decides that little sisters can be stinky, tiresome, and demanding, and hides Sam in the back of his closet. But when Franklin is able to make his sister stop crying without Sam’s help, he realizes how much she loves her brother. He proudly re-embraces his big brother role – though he still keeps a close eye on Sam’s whereabouts.

Franklin and Harriet shows siblings working through differences and learning to share – important issues for the series’ target audience of three- to eight-year-olds. And Franklin’s model for sibling behaviour is certainly more conducive to family harmony than Lilly’s in Kevin Henkes’ Julius, the Baby of the World, for example. But is Franklin too good to be true? His range of responses is so limited that he seems amiable even in anger. When Harriet rips off Sam’s tail, Franklin looks and acts merely perturbed rather than outraged – and his return to a positive attitude about Harriet is so sudden it rings hollow. Because of this one-dimensional quality, the book will work best as a conduct guide for new siblings rather than as an exciting story.


Reviewer: Laurie Mcneill

Publisher: Kids Can Press


Price: $12.95

Page Count: 32 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 1-55074-874-2

Released: Feb.

Issue Date: 2001-2

Categories: Picture Books

Age Range: ages 3–8

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