cover image Frank and Ernest on the Road

Frank and Ernest on the Road

Alexandra Day. Scholastic, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-590-45048-5

After decoding diner lingo ( Frank and Ernest ) and baseball banter ( Frank and Ernest Play Ball ), the brown bear and elephant jacks-of-all-trades take on CB jargon in this winning excursion. Hired to make a fruit shipment, they brush up on big-rig slang before getting on the ``concrete slab'' (highway). A dispatcher gives them apt ``handles''--Frank becomes ``Furry Face'' and Ernest ``Nose''--and coaches them through a serious ``window washer'' of a storm. Day strives for realism in her watercolor illustrations, so that every car and truck is easily recognizable. The ever curious, enthusiastic Frank and Ernest, who dress in flannel shirts and chinos, appear human but for their heads and ``hands.'' Although the setup here is longer than in the previous books and the argot not as smoothly incorporated, the fun remains. Families making long trips are advised to bring this book along; young riders seem likely to enjoy pointing out ``thermos bottles'' (tanker trucks), ``big dogs'' (Greyhound buses) and ``draggin' wagons'' (tow trucks). Ages 5-8. (Feb.)