Frankie goes to Kindergarten by Peta Baxter and Connie Hemmens. Illus. by Marjory Gardner

cover image

A charming story of what kindergarten means is shown to readers through the eyes of Frankie the dog, who goes to kindie each week day morning. Based on a real life dog, Frank, who goes along to a real kindergarten in Queensland with his owners, Peta and Connie, the image of a happy friendly dog on the cover will intrigue readers, especially when thy spot a cat in the background, looking equally happy and pleased with itself. Readers will know that in the main dogs and cats do not mix, so with have a frisson of excitement as to how the two get along.

It is a bright sunny day and Frankie is keen to go to kindergarten. The first thing he does is greet all the pets, so readers will see the array of other animals that live the kindergarten: mice, fish and chickens, and then Frankie greets the people bringing their children to the rooms.

Each page shows a different activity done at a kindergarten, with Frankie joining in. Astute eyes will have spotted the cat’s appearance and then try to discover this animal on each successive page. Readers will love discovering the wealth of things to do at kindergarten and for younger readers this will acquaint them with what will happen next in their lives. After all the activity it is time to pack things away and have a rest period, before tidying up and preparing for home.

For all readers this overview of what happens at kindergarten, told through the dog’s position there, will add to their knowledge of the things they learn there without really being aware that they are learning. The subtle learning of getting along, of being inclusive and non threatening, all have a place in this kindergarten where Frankie is a focus for children to learn these skills.

Themes: Kindergarten, Animals, Dogs, Inclusivity, Friendship.

Fran Knight