Frankie Pants and Mr Fox by Helen Lear
Illus. by Katya Swan. Little Steps, 2020. ISBN: 9781925839654. 28pp.
Recommended. This is a classic superhero story that follows the story of a presumably lazy cat, who transforms into Frankie Pants - a modern day hero here to save his animal pals. His nemesis Mr Fox is on the radar in this story and with all his bravery and might Frankie Pants saves the day . . . and his chicken friends!
This is a lovely, short story that is filled with wonderful words and an easy to follow rhyme. Some of my favourite words/phrases used are dastardly doings, devilish, villainous, gleaming, and wrestling! All such wonderful words that required explanation for my younger reader, who afterwards tried to use them whenever possible. The text includes larger words (and s t r e t c h e d words) so the reader can add addition sounds/curiosity for the listener.
I really enjoyed the illustrations in this story and felt that they accentuated the characters, added interest and engagement for the reader. The colours were vibrant and bright, and I particularly enjoyed the expression on the chickens' faces. You can see the sense of fear, despair and relief at being saved.
The year 1 boys I read this story to both enjoyed the adventure of Frankie Pants, but unanimously said that it should have been longer so Frankie could go on more missions to save more of his friends. With a review like that, I think there would be great interest in a sequel!
We gave it 4 out of 5 in the hope that a sequel comes along one day so we can read more about the fun adventures of Frankie Pants!