Last week we read aloud a new picture book by David Mackintosh to the intermediate grade students called The Frank Show. First, though, we read it together at the bookshop, laughing and remembers others in our lives whose thoughts and sayings were brought to the forefront by the things Frank says in the book:
- "Things were a lot tougher back then."
- "You could hear yourself think!"
- "These days there are too many gadgets and gizmos. I prefer doing things the old-fashioned way."
- "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
- "They don't make 'em like that anymore."
- "Today's music is just noise, and you can't understand the words."
The students were mesmerized by the story (and the quirky illustrations) of a boy who must talk for one minute about one person. For various reasons, he chooses his grandpa Frank, even though Frank is just a grandpa and does not seem to have a lot of the interesting qualities and talents possessed by his classmates' chosen people. After the narrator tells about all the things Frank does not like, he is at a loss for words. Then Frank tells the children about his stint in the war, and the children in the book are also mesmerized. Frank is obviously the coolest person of all.
The resulting discussion revealed some fascinating family histories and generated questions the children would love to ask their family members. They also loved learning that my grandpa was in the Navy (like many of their grandpas and great grandpas) and was a cement truck driver.