CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 16 . . . . April 12, 2002
Franklin thought he was very lucky. He thought he had the best pet goldfish. He thought he had the best friends and the best stuffed dog. But, most of all, Franklin thought he had the best mother in the whole wide world.
An appreciative Franklin is aware of the many things that his mother unselfishly does for him, actions such baking him fly pies or reading "him two books before bed, even when she was tired." However, when Granny tells him that his mother's birthday is the next day, Franklin decides "to give her the best present ever" to show his mother how much he loves her. Having made presents, like a macaroni necklace, for her in past years, Franklin has run out of ideas and so decides "to buy his mother something fancy." When the contents of Franklin's piggy bank do not match the price of potential gifts, a desperate Franklin goes to four of his friends individually, seeking their gift suggestions. In each case, Franklin finds a reason why their ideas will not work. Finally, Franklin turns to his father who suggests that Franklin and his younger sister, Harriet, make their mother a card. On birthday morning, Franklin suddenly decides to do everything his friends had suggested, and, while his mother is happy with all of her gifts, she is delighted with Franklin's final gift, the words "I love you."
While the story does have a child connection in that most children, to show their love, do want to give their parents significant gifts but lack the resources to do so, parents will also recognize themselves in Franklin Says I Love You, especially in the section where Franklin enumerates the gifts he has made for his mother and reports on how she hung his self-portrait on the wall and even wore his homemade birthday hat to the store. Possibly Bourgeois is even taking a little fun poke at forgetful husbands when she writes that Franklin's father "looked surprised" when Franklin reported that tomorrow was his mother's birthday. While Franklin Says I Love You lacks the "drama" found in some of the other Franklin tales, it is still worthy of purchase.
Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature in the Faculty
of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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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.