Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cherish your grandfather.....The Frank Show

Quote of the day.....

"Let your bookcases and your shelves be your garden and your pleasure - grounds.  Pluck the fruit that grows therein, gather the roses, the spices, and the myrrh."
                                                 ~Judah Ibn Tibbon

Title:  The Frank Show
Author/Illustrator:  David Mackintosh
Ages:  5-7

Ever have to bring a family member in for a Friday show and tell?  Ever have your family abdicate and all you have left to take is grumpy, old grandpa who seems to complain about everything there is to complain about?  He doesn't like modern gizmos and gadgets, he has no hobbies, doesn't speak another language or play a musical instrument, he uses an old typewriter to type on and hasn't bought a new pair of pants in ten years!  He hates haircuts, doctors and any sort of ice cream that isn't vanilla. What can you say about such a boring, uncool guy in the one minute allotted to you?

Downcast and mortified the narrator (an unnamed boy) has no alternative but to bring his grandpa to school, present him to his class and try to get through this horrific experience.  The boy approaches his assigned presentation like he is headed for the gallows.  Mackintosh draws him alone and in grey, while his classmates laugh and shout in colour on the opposite page.  The illustrations are a combination of ink, pencil drawings, paper collages and photos.  He uses a great color pallet, just perfect for the storyline.

What the boy discovers is truly remarkable.  His grandpa starts spinning stories that mesmerize the whole class.  Grandpa can eat pickled onions right out of the pickle jar, he can catch a fly with his bare hands and let it go again, he has a rubber band ball that is twenty-eight years old and he even has a cool tattoo!!!  The class in enamoured with Frank's grandpa.  He is a big hit and they treat him like a rock star.

We are reminded that every one has a story and (a life) before they become a grandpa.  It is so worthwhile to bridge that generation gap and take time to sit down and listen to the elders around you. These older people are filled with wisdom and knowledge that I am sure they would love to share with you.   Make an effort to find out what stories are buried deep inside your grandad (or grandma) and you will be much richer for knowing them.

About the author/illustrator:

David Mackintosh is a designer / art director and illustrator, born in Belfast and raised in Australia. As a designer, he has worked with some of the most celebrated names in children's publishing and has freelanced in publishing, theatre, TV production and advertising. David's first book for HarperCollins Children's Books, Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School, was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and his second,The Frank Show, was on's list of Best Books 2012. David lives in London, loves making things, books with pictures in them, flying, visiting cities and being read to. Visit him at

            Book Review Rating:   9  (Close to perfection!)

Reading this book made me think about my own grandpa who I didn't get to meet because he died when I was just two years old.  The stories told about him made me sad that I wasn't around to get to know him and glean the great family history he harboured up inside of him.  Here are some things that I was told about this remarkable little man...

Here he is, a man of small stature but a huge, big, giving  heart....

                               He and his wife Masylba.  His name was Otto Paul Maeck.

He loved his wife and his family very much.  He was born in Germany on May 24, 1890.  He was a kind, humble, gentle soul who loved to listen to music and to dance.  He danced with everyone in the house and if no partners were available he would take the broom and dance with it.  Strangely enough, all his kids turned out musical, could play numerous instruments and they played in local bands.  Yes, it was country and western music and square dancing was their specialty.

He made his wife breakfast every morning.  He had very poor eyesight and he would put the slices of her homemade bread on top of the wood burning stove and keep it there until it was burnt.  When he would smell the smoke rising he would quickly take it off and say, "ah just right, just the way momma likes it."  Momma never had the courage to tell him it was burnt and for years ate that burnt toast gratefully and with a smile because it was made by her beloved "papa." 

He and his wife dyed hundreds of Easter eggs each year and hid them around their home and front lawn.  They invited all the kids in their small town to an Easter egg hunt after church on Easter morning and the town kids loved it so much.   The kids when they grew up used to tell stories of how much that event meant to them and of how kind Grandma and Grandpa were to them.  

When Grandpa heard a little child singing on the radio he would tear up and cry, it moved him so.

He was well respected in our town and everyone ( the young and the old alike) would call out to them, "Hello Grandma and Grandpa" as they took their evening walk before their bedtime.  They were indeed beloved by all who knew them.

Read on and read always.  Have a great day today!

No comments: