Alison Lester is one of Australia's most popular children's authors and illustrators. She began illustrating children's books after she had her first child, and today has illustrated more than 25 books for children. Alison has won several awards for her writing and illustrating, including the 1989 CBC Honour Book Award for The Journey Home, and Best Designed Children's Book for Rosie Sips Spiders. When Frank Was Four reached number one in the bestseller list and was also a CBC Notable Book. Alison lives on a farmlet in rural Victoria with her husband and their three children.
PreS-Gr 1-Clive, Nicky, Tessa, et al., who grew from one to seven in When Frank Was Four (Houghton, 1996), return in a new celebration of individualism and free-time fun. Weekends, museum trips, Sports Day, and even dreams are all opportunities for these energetic youngsters to pursue their chosen interests. Six of the seven children fill a double-page spread in vignettes arranged in a linear progression. For example, under the heading "Adventures," "Ernie explores a cave. Celeste goes water-skiing. Nicky climbs a mountain." And so on. The seventh warrants a full-page illustration opposite a page of text ("But Clive is a powder hound"). Although Clive's football uniform and Nicky's surf club hint at the Australian setting, the activities are mostly universal and brimming with good cheer. There is no plot or climactic moment but the youngsters develop real and engaging personalities as they fill their leisure time. Crisp watercolor-and-pen artwork captures their adventuresome spirit and the small objects scattered about the pages provide an excellent opportunity for a matching game. The simple text and repetitive sentence structure in this lighthearted sequel may attract beginning readers, while the varied and imaginative events are bound to encourage listeners to pipe up and add their own favorite hobbies and pursuits.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.