Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kids Books A to Z: F is for Frances

As a child, the Frances series by Russell and Lillian Hoban were among my favorite books to read over and over again. Out of all of them, I think that Bread and Jam for Frances was the best. While I also need peanut butter to go with my jelly, I could easily relate to her affinity for her favorite food. I think I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day for lunch until about the fourth grade.

I learned a lot about the value of friendship and of sisterhood in Best Friends for Frances and A Baby Sister for Frances.

Frances is a lovable character whose life experiences are familiar to children of many ages. She learns many lessons that children must also go through and learn. Her stories can be good teaching tools. I recently read A Bargain for Frances to my students. Frances learns a lesson about giving away her belongings and to not cheat a friend. It was more appropriate for my older students.

Another thing I loved about Frances was her poetry. Often she created spur-of-the-moment rhymes while skipping rope or walking down the sidewalk. I liked to pretend to be her when I would jump rope outside.

The series is a great one to share with your kids or grandkids and even your students.

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