Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-237345-8
Newbery Medalist Perkins (Criss Cross) offers a simultaneously lighthearted and insightful look at education, in this story starring a boy and his newly rescued dog: “Both of them were just pups. They had a lot to learn.” Through Frank and Lucky’s relationship with each other and the natural world, Perkins creates a free-form curriculum that playfully introduces various disciplines. Lucky’s encounter with a skunk leads to an exploration of chemistry and experiments (such as which products will turn “smell molecules” into “not-so-smelly molecules”), while six side-by-side images of Lucky and Frank attempting to share a bed accompany the question, “How much of the bed is Lucky’s, and how much is Frank’s?” (“This is fractions and percentages,” writes Perkins. “The answer changes throughout the night.”) As Perkins comments on art, history, geography, and more, she brings a warm, conversational tone to the narrative, while her mixed-media pictures play up the story’s humor through the use of comics elements, including panel sequences and speech balloons. From interdisciplinary connections to unanswerable questions, Perkins demonstrates the value and rewards of investigating one’s world, whether human or dog. Ages 4–8. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2016
Release date: 06/14/2016
Genre: Children's
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