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Volume VIII Number 12 . . . . February 15, 2002
Franklin's Thanksgiving is the latest in the popular Franklin series originally written and illustrated by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark. It is autumn, and Franklin is looking forward to the annual Thanksgiving dinner and visit from his out-of-town grandparents. However, he soon discovers that Grandma and Grandpa are unable to attend this year. Disappointed, Franklin is concerned that Thanksgiving will not be the same without company. Together with his family and neighbours, Franklin helps to harvest the garden and prepare the food for the upcoming meal. At school, he decides to invite his teacher, Mr.Owl, to join him for Thanksgiving dinner as a surprise for his family. Mom and Dad have similar ideas and secretly invite other neighbours to join in the holiday as well. Once all the surprise guests arrive, it soon becomes apparent that there will not be enough room for everyone. Franklin suggests that they eat outdoors like the early settlers, and the Thanksgiving supper takes on a new tradition in the woods.
Fans of the Franklin series will recognize all of their favourite characters: Moose, Bear, Mr. Owl, Mr. Mole, Harriet and, of course, Franklin the turtle. The story follows a similar pattern to others, with Franklin's facing a family problem and his creative solutions saving the day. While the ending is fairly predictable, in that the reader "knows" that the Thanksgiving meal will be a happy one, the plot does contain a few twists to keep it interesting. The ending is satisfying as Grandma and Grandpa are reintroduced through a phone call tying back neatly to the introduction.While the illustrations by Brenda Clark (assisted by Shelley Southern) continue to be appealing, they are not as jewel-toned or three-dimensional as those contained in the original stories in the series. They do, however, include lots of interesting background detail (in this case, harvest scenes) and expression on the characters' faces, and this is what contributes to their success.
Franklin's kid-like behaviour ( "It won't be the same," Franklin grumbled .) and willingness to try something new, allow young readers to relate to him and to enjoy his adventures. Franklin's Thanksgiving is worth adding to your list of titles in this Canadian series, as well as, a Thanksgiving theme collection.
Lisa Sykes has worked in Winnipeg, MB, as an early years teacher
and teacher-librarian. She is currently enjoying her time at home with
her two young children.
Lisa Sykes has worked in Winnipeg, MB, as an early years teacher and teacher-librarian. She is currently enjoying her time at home with her two young children.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.