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Paulette Bourgeois
Illustrated by Brenda Clark Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1993. 30pp, cloth, $10.95
ISBN 1-5507119-5. CIP

Subject Heading:
Turtles-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6

Reviewed by Linda Holeman

Volume 22 Number 2
1994 March/April

Franklin is back--and this time he's not in the dark, not slow, not telling fibs, and not lost but he is bossy!

In this story, the usually lovable turtle is having a hard time getting along with his friends, especially Bear. Franklin can't stop trying to tell everyone what to do--what games to play, what rules to follow. And he always wants to win the race, be pitcher in the baseball games. Eventually, the friends get into a verbal argument and Bear shouts, "I don't want to play with you. You are too bossy."

Franklin stomps home and spends the afternoon helping his father with chores. There is also a chance for the little turtle to see how his father treats his own friends. Franklin plays by himself for another day, missing everyone and thinking. When he sets out to apologize to Bear, he discovers that Bear was on his way to apologize to him.

Eventually the story winds down with a satisfactory conclusion for very young children. Welcomed back by all his woodland friends, Franklin ends up as outfielder in the baseball game--"and it wasn't so bad, for although Franklin didn't catch a single ball ... he did catch lots of flies."

With her usual smooth style, Bourgeois has once more, in her fifth Franklin book, created a situation familiar to all children, capturing the emotions and worries of the pre-schooler. And once again, we are shown how Franklin works through the dilemma on his own, with no adult intervention.

Brenda Clark's soft water-colours portray a myriad of human expressions on endearing animal faces. The book can be enjoyed for these pictures alone, a definite plus for the youngest book lovers.

A simple, sweet story, recommended as an addition to the Franklin collection for preschoolers and first grade.

Linda Holeman, a former elementary teacher, now writes full time in Winnipeg, Manitoba
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