December 5, 2009

Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom

Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight
First in the Frankie Pickle series

Pages: 85 pgs.
Ages: 7+
First Published: 2009
Rating: 4.5/5

First sentences:

"I've been called a lot of names: treasure seeker, relic hunter, grave robber. I prefer the one my mom gave me: FRANKIE PICKLE!"

Reason for Reading: Cybils nominee.

Comments: Frankie has a vivid imagination and he spends a great deal of his time play-acting that he is a treasure seeker, super hero, prisoner, surgeon, etc. His escapades turn his room into a gigantic mess and when his mother tells him to clean it, he questions the need since it will just get messy again, and mum agrees he doesn't ever have to clean his room again but he must deal with any consequences. A really fun story that the 7 to 10 crowd are going to love! Frankie is a fun-loving, intelligent character who never lets anything get him down. His imagination is enormous and truly splendid. I loved the part when his room had become so messy he accidentally stepped on his favourite action figure breaking his special karate chop leg, and since he had to deal with all consequences himself his dad couldn't fix it as would be the norm. So Frankie grabs the epoxy glue and fades into the role of a surgeon as he performs surgery on the wounded superhero. Another thing I'm impressed with is that Frankie is fully respectful towards his parents, no backtalk or whining.

This book is what is called a hybrid, meaning that it is a mixture of both graphic novel format and a regular textual chapter book. There are entire chapters of print, entire chapters in graphic format and chapters that are a mix of both. The graphic content is quite high, though I don't think I'd say 50%, more like 60/40. The author has also done the artwork and it is a fun, cartoon-style illustration. I think this is a series that will prove popular with the kids. Parents will also like it as Frankie is a good role model showing kids they can have a ton of fun with just their imagination (no remotes, re-charging or wifi required).


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