Review Blog

Feb 13 2011

Frank and Teddy Make Friends by Louise Yates

cover image

Jonathan Cape, 2011.
(Ages 3-6) Highly recommended. Professor Frank Mouse is rather clever, but he is so absorbed in building, collecting and mending things that it takes him a long time to realise something is missing from his life - the companionship of a friend. In true Frankenstein tradition Professor Mouse builds his own friend, but fortunately he creates a teddy bear rather than a monster!
In Yates' captivating illustrations the Professor is quite imperious, ordering his new friend about and setting him to work. One day, Teddy rebels and decides to do some collecting and making of his own. However, the results are disastrous as the only thing Teddy seems capable of making is a mess. In a fit of rage Professor Mouse banishes his creation, but the local wildlife are keen to befriend Teddy and show him a different kind of friendship based on mutual trust and support. In the nick of time Professor Mouse realises his mistake and the friendship is rekindled on a more even footing.
A vital lesson in the value of taking turns and sharing is beautifully portrayed in Yates' delightful watercolour illustrations and gentle storyline. This will be a sure fire winner with young children and the adults they share it with. The picture-book market may be crowded but there is always room for a bright new talent such as Yates who has a fresh and appealing way to deliver an important message.
Claire Larson

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