________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 19 . . . . January 23, 2015


Franklin and the Case of the New Friend.

Caitlin Drake Smith.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2014.
24 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-77138-122-2.

Subject Heading:
Franklin (Fictitious character: Bourgeois)-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Claire Perrin.

**** /4

Franklin and his friends have a mystery on their hands. Beaver and Franklin find a picture of a skunk family and wonder who the little skunk in the picture could be. They share the picture with Bear, Fox, Goose and Rabbit who set out to solve the mystery. The team members become the mystery-solving Super Cluepers and set out to find the skunk family in the hopes of making a new friend.

     Their search begins at the library where they find a book that tells them where skunks can be found. With book in hand, the noisy Cluepers go towards the forest. They spot a skunk’s tail behind a bush but the skunk is too shy to come out of the bush. The Super Cluepers try a new tactic: they draw a picture of themselves and put it near the spot where they saw the skunk. Quietly they leave their picture and the skunk’s picture where they think the skunk will find it. The little skunk discovers their picture and meets Franklin’s crew. Although she is shy, Skunk is happy to have new friends, and Franklin invites her to play with them any time she wants.

“Hey, said Beaver. “I bet the little skunk in the picture drew this herself.”

“Yeah!” said Franklin. “She must have forgotten it.”

“Then we should give it back to her,” said Beaver. “Maybe she’ll want to be our friend!”

“Cool-io!” said Franklin. “But wait – we don’t know where she lives.”

“It’s a real mystery,” said Beaver.

     This story shows Franklin’s friends working together, researching and testing their ideas as well as including a new friend in their group. Curiosity, co-operation and friendliness play an important part in this adventure. Many young children will identify with the shy skunk who is new in the forest and is watching a noisy group of friends playing together. Franklin’s decision to not only find the skunk but become friends with her sends a message that everyone we meet is a potential friend if we make the effort to include them.

Highly Recommended.

Claire Perrin is an elementary teacher in Toronto, ON.

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

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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