________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 4 . . . . October 13, 2006


Franklin and the Bubble Gum. (Kids Can Read).

Sharon Jennings. Illustrated by Sean Jeffrey, Sasha McIntyre & Jelena Sisic.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2006.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-817-2 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-816-4 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Honesty-Juvenile fiction.
Franklin(Fictitious character)-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Laura Ludtke.

*1/2 /4


Franklin can tie his shoes. Franklin can count by twos. And Franklin can get into trouble. Franklin doesn’t want to get into trouble. He doesn’t mean to get into trouble. But sometimes, trouble happens.


In this latest incarnation of the adventures of Franklin the turtle, yet another TV episode, Franklin’s Candy Caper, is transformed into a book designed for children to read along with their parents. Like other books in the “Franklin TV Storybook” series, this one features Franklin and his animal friends in a situation that many children and parents will be able to recognize from their early playground days.

     Here, Franklin finds a lucky penny, and he decides to spend it on bubble gum from Mr. Mole’s store. Franklin loves bubble gum. While Franklin’s sharing his luck with some of his friends, Beaver arrives at the playground to bring bad news. Someone robbed Mr. Mole’s bubble gum machine, and Beaver is quick to blame Franklin who has just chewed a lot of bubble gum. Franklin readily accepts responsibility for the incident and, to make amends, decides to fill Mr. Mole’s bubble gum machine up with all of the pennies he has saved. When Franklin and his friends encounter Mr. Mole, Franklin reluctantly explains the disappearance of the gum. Mr. Mole quickly figures out that the machine is broken and forgives Franklin. The penny was lucky, after all.

     Though the book is at the proper reading level for children to read with the help of their parents, the story and illustrations will disappoint anyone who has delighted in the original series by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark. Few of the illustrations contain enough detail to convey the situation explained by the text, a situation which detracts from the story and from the characterization of Franklin and his friends, qualities which readers of the original series have come to expect. The story, itself, is confusing because it not really about Franklin’s being in trouble. Instead, it is about how Beaver quickly blamed Franklin for a situation she did not understand. Though Mr. Mole rewards Franklin for his honesty, Beaver does not visibly realize her role in Franklin’s trouble.

Not Recommended.

Laura Ludtke, a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Classical Studies. She is currently attending Queen’s University where she is pursuing a Master of Arts in Classics. She enjoyed reading the original Franklin series as a child.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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