Title: Funny FrankFunny-Frank
Author: Dick King-Smith
Illustrator: John Eastwood
Pages: 108
Reading Level: 9 & up
Star Rating: ★★

Dick King-Smith, author of Ace: The Very Important Pig, returns with another animal story.

The Story.

Frank is a chicken. He knows that. He knows that chickens are supposed to run around pecking at the ground. But he just can’t. All he wants to do is swim – like the ducks. Is that too much to ask?

But Frank is in for a big surprise the first time he tries to swim. Because, however much he wants to, he can’t! But Jemima, the little girl who rescues him from the water, seems to be sympathetic. Can she find a way for him to swim?

Discussion.

Funny Frank is funny. Very funny. It cracked me up. It was in the theme of King-Smith’s most famous work, Babe, which is about a pig that thinks he’s a dog. Well, here’s the chicken who thinks he’s a duck!

The story is entirely fanciful. Jemima and her family decide to help Frank out in his dreams, so they make him a wet-suit and flippers. He zips around in these, outdistancing the ducks, and living as a part of the duck clan. In the end, he becomes distracted and abandons these accoutrements. The reason for his distraction is…

Jemima and Co. decide to find a girlfriend for Frank. When she arrives, they flirt together – she calls him “handsome” and “lover boy”, while he chases her around and calls her “gorgeous”.

Frank doesn’t think very highly of his family and they dump him altogether, causing him to think, “His mother didn’t want to have anything to do with him, nor did his brothers and sisters, nor the bog cockerel, nor any of the hens in the flock. But these little ducklings, they were his friends.” [pg. 72]

The ducks speak slang and only slang. “Hi, there, chick! Love your gear, man! It’s cool!” [pg. 53]

Gertie thinks that she sees a ghost, but later realizes her mistake.

Luck is referenced three times.

‘Golly’ is used once.

Conclusion. Funny, but of no nutritional value.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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