Thursday, October 11, 2012

Frankly, Frannie: Doggy Day Care

Title:  Frankly Frannie:  Doggy Day Care
Author:  AJ Stern
Publisher:  Scholastic
Year:  2012
Pages:  123
Genre:  Realistic Fiction
Themes:  Careers, Learning a Lesson
Age Range:  2nd-4th Grade

Frannie is a little girl who desperately wants to be a grown-up.  Ever since realizing that a grown-up office was a bestest place ever, she has been scheming about how she can quit school and get a job.  She thinks her time has come when her teacher compliments her on the care she gave the class hamster when t was her turn to take him home overnight.  That's it!  She'll become a veterinarian.  While hatching a plan to get her parents to let her quit school and run a vet's office out of her bedroom, an opportunity falls into her lap.  Her Aunt Magoo, maker of sock dolls extraordinaire, needs help getting ready for a big meeting with a fancy lady from a big toy store.  Magoo needs Frannie and her best friend Eliot to take care of her animals, three slippery cats and a dog named Bark.  Can Frannie prove that she is ready for the responsibility of being a veterinarian?  Chaos ensues when Frannie takes matters into her own hands.

Frannie was introduced in the book Frankly Frannie, and since her first appearance she has tried on a few different jobs.  Each time she learns something new about herself, and she finds that being a grown-up with a job is harder than it seems.  The books are told in first person from Frannie's point of view, and as such the language is sometimes quirky.  I will admit that at times the unusual, child-like way that she speaks and the change in font to show emphasis were distracting for me as a reader, and I imagine that there are some children who would find that distracting as well.  Not to mention that some of the "grown-up" words she tries to use would be challenging for less proficient readers.  However, Frannie herself is a very likeable character, and there are opportunities for discussing the author's word choice not just from a characterization perspective, but also from a writer's perspective.  I think that this series is a good addition to a classroom library, and could be used in a thematic unit on careers.

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