Author: Connah Brecon
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Review Copy: ARC from publisher
Availability: September 30, 2014
Try as he might (or might not), Frank is a bear who is always late. And when he starts school, the trouble really begins.
Frank has very good reasons, like the time he had to save a cat stuck in a tree and the morning he found himself challenged to a charity dance-off, and even the time he had to rescue a family of bunnies from a huge, smelly ogre.
Frank's teacher has heard enough of Frank's excuses, but what happens when a giant zombie lizard king really does attack the school?
Sometimes there is truth to the most unusual of circumstances, and being helpful can pay off in the most unexpected ways.
My Thoughts: I have a large measure of sympathy for Frank. I am quite often five to ten minutes late everywhere I go. Things have a way of taking longer than I expect or distractions appear at the very last minute. There are surely many readers in the same boat, but even people who manage their time a little better than that can appreciate the humor in this quirky book.
The illustrations are fun and have a few hidden treasures. The first two-page spread has a store that is a "One-Stop Watch Shop" and the newspaper boy hints at things to come as he announces the headline "Reptile Rampage." The pictures are childlike and imaginative.
Frank arrives to school late every day and tells stories of wild and crazy adventures. I wasn't certain whether readers were meant to believe them or not. As an adult, I wasn't sure I understood the subtext or the conclusion, so younger readers may be a bit confused. In the end, children will probably enjoy the silliness of the story, especially the giant zombie lizard king, and likely won't care if they know what's true or if the resolution is clear. Adult readers may be left scratching their heads though.