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Paulette Bourgeois. Illustrated by Brenda Clark.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1986.
unpaged, paperbound boards, $10.95.
ISBN 0-919964-93-1. CIP.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7

Reviewed by Janice Foster.

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

Fears are a very real part of growing up and a topic with which children of all ages can identify In this delightful story, the author reveals several childhood phobias that trouble a variety of animals and the humorous ways they devise to deal with their fears.

Franklin, a young turtle, is afraid of the dark, so he drags his small, dark shell behind him. One day, he sets off to look for help. On his quest he encounters a variety of animals, each with its own fear. He meets a duck, afraid of very deep water, who wears water wings. He comes across a bird, scared of flying high, who finds a parachute useful. After meeting these and other creatures, Franklin returns home determined to figure out a way to deal with his own fear. His solution provides a humorous ending to the story, which leaves young and old with a warm chuckle.

Franklin in the Dark is an excellent picture-book that will have strong appeal to the pre-schooler and the beginning reader. It could also be used as a discussion starter for the parent of a young child who is experiencing a particular fear. The illustrations are bold, colourful, and humorous and complement the clear, simple text. With such a delightful story and an irresistible format, this book is certain to find its place on the shelves of home, school, and public libraries.

Janice Foster, Winnipeg, MB.
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