Thursday, 14 September 2017

"Franklin's Flying Bookshop"

is one of those glorious, quirky, stay-with-you books that all children - young and old - should experience. The author, Jen Campbell, has outdone herself this time.
Franklin flew in to visit me this week. I had been prowling impatiently as I waited for him to arrive. Would the postman bring him today? No. Tomorrow? No. Now? Yes!
I had been hearing reports about this impeccably well mannered dragon with exquisite reading tastes and I wanted to meet him. He did not disappoint me.
He is just my sort of dragon. I have been especially fond of dragons ever since reading Rosemary Manning's "Green Smoke" as a child. What sort of dragon would Jen have written about? The answer was both simple and complex. 
Franklin likes to read. He wants to read stories to people -  but people are afraid of him. Then he meets a small human, Luna. Luna likes dragons and together....  I won't spoil the rest of the story. Read it for yourself.
I passed Franklin over to the Senior Cat. At 94 the Senior Cat has not outgrown picture books. He still enjoys reading them. If there were small humans around who needed stories to be read to them he would tell them about Franklin with the greatest of pleasure. He has already said we must get more copies of the book to pass on to those who live in far away places. 
What was it about the book he liked I asked. He smiled and said, "It reminds me of AA Milne. It has that same sort of quirkiness, the quirkiness which stays with you. I like the idea of a dragon being able to read by the light of the moon....of using a bookcase as a door to keep the wind out..."
I really don't want to say more about the story. 
It's a book about differences and accepting those differences. It is a book about what others have to offer and a book about books and what they have to offer. It is a book filled with wonderful images - and yes, those illustrations by Katie Harnett complement the text in just the way they should. Franklin is the most excellently drawn dragon. Luna's delight in meeting you is obvious.
Thank you Jen. Franklin's here for a very long visit!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like my sort of book!

Jodiebodie said...

One is never too old to appreciate picture books and I often think the world would be a different place if adults allowed themselves to enjoy picture books more often. My favourite picture books have no printed words on the page except for the print that appears in the illustrations and yet these books contain much depth and sophistication.

One of them is "Belonging" by Jeannie Baker (Walker Books 2008). It is an Honour Book of the 2005 Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year, the Winner of the 2005 Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature - Picture Book Category, and an American Library Association Notable Children's Book 2005.

My other favourite"The Arrival" by Shaun Tan (Lothian Books / Hachette 2006) should be compulsory "reading" for everyone, especially adults. This book has won too many awards to list in a comment box but you can find out about it here:

Do you know these books? I hope you enjoy them. I found these books to be quite moving. It is fantastic to have friends who truly appreciate books and reading. xx