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Frannie and Pickles Hardcover – 30 Nov 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Malibu Books for Children (30 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929084137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929084135
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 29.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,411,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover
My children always loved humorous books more than any others. When the humorous books were enhanced by illustrations that improved the humor, the pleasure was even better. Underneath the humor, the author and illustrator could share some profound insights . . . and these would be quickly absorbed by each child. When the book was sophisticated in its perspective, I enjoyed reading and rereading the book as well.
I was delighted to see that Frannie & Pickles is an outstanding example of what I have admired most in children's books, as I described above.
If you've ever watched dogs and their owners, I'm sure you've been struck by how often they look alike. Frannie & Pickles takes that observation into a new direction: What if dogs and their owners start by behave like each other?
Frannie, an older woman, "loved being with Pickles most out of her many friends." She fed him breakfast in a dog dish on her kitchen table while he sat in a chair. He rode on the back of her bicycle while she steered and peddled. She dressed him up in clothes, just like a doll. Pickles had a smaller version of Frannie's bed, next to her. Frannie read him stories at night and tucked him into bed. Pickles often curled up in Frannie's lap in front of the roaring fireplace.
"One day Frannie and Pickles were having tea. Frannie said. 'Pickles, darling. I sure do feel odd.'
Frannie lapped up the rest of her tea." And so the fun begins. Frannie is next out sniffing rose bushes on all fours, then hanging out of the car window with her tongue extended while Pickles drives. Frannie grows a beard, and Pickles shaves her. The two chase a cat up the Ginkgo tree. They both chase after the mailman. Pickles beat Frannie at bridge. Frannie beat Pickles at Frisbee fetching (she can catch it in her teeth).
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful tale and a beautiful book, one I am thrilled to add to my collection of children's books to cherish and read again. Frannie and Pickles is truly a significant contribution to modern children's literature, yet the author has a classic style of storytelling comparable to that of Beatrix Potter and L. Frank Baum.
The story of best friends, a woman and a dog, switching places for the day is zany and amazing fun. I loved their adventures. And I love how a great book makes me feel. This story reminded me of many book and movie adventures I enjoyed in childhood. After reading this story, I found myself reminiscing about great Disney films like The Parent Trap, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and The Jungle Book. I also found myself thinking about wonderful books I read growing up like The Brave Little Tailor, Johnny Appleseed, Rikki Tikki Tavi, and for some reason, Oliver Twist. I believe Mr. McClear's fantastic ability to tell a good story brought about my fond memories of these classic tales.
Great literature is very powerful and has the ability to make us laugh, cry, and reminisce. Frannie and Pickles does all of these things. I am looking forward to reading it again.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Freaky Frannie: Excellent Book for Kids and Adults 4 Dec. 2003
By M. Allen Greenbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a very clever book about identity exchange in the "Freaky Friday" mode, except that McClear's fanciful tale is about an inter-species switch between human and dog: Frannie acts like Pickles and Pickles acts like Frannie! After establishing the close, special relationship between Frannie and her dog (Pickles rides on the backseat of Frannie's two-wheel bicycle), the plot turns to their sudden change in behavior.
One of the trickiest aspects of this genre is how to explain the switch: was it a magic spell or potion, or perhaps a dream? The author takes what I think is the right course for a children's book--it just happens without a lot of hoopla:
"One day Frannie and Pickles were having tea. Frannie said, 'Pickles, darling, I sure do feel odd.' Frannie lapped up the rest of her tea."
The book's text and illustrations show the wild and very funny consequences: One of my favorites is the book cover (also found on page 20) of Pickles driving while Frannie hangs her head out the window with her tongue and hair waving. Other adventures include Frannie chasing the postman, and catching a Frisbee thrown by Pickles.
I was quite impressed with Nicholas Dollak's unique illustrations: Rather than appeal to a common denominator, the pictures show an incredible amount of style and sophistication. They don't condescend to the reader by oversimplifying. The colors are bold and usually only one main idea is pictured (which is great for a younger audience), but there are plenty of details and verbal and visual jokes for the older reader as well.(However, cat lovers might want to know that there are some small pictures showing minor violence by mice against a cat.) 34 pages on very high quality paper. This is a very fun book, and I look forward to more work from this team.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good story, GREAT illustrations 13 Mar. 2004
By hyperbolium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Preston McClear's story of an eccentric woman and her dog's change-of-places is clever and fun, but what really sends this book over the top are Nicholas Dollak's intricate, subtle, and humorously subversive illustrations.
Children will love the fantastic nature of Dollak's images - from Frannie's high-piled hair (and the like-shaped scarf and nightcap with which she covers it) to the unusual collage of materials used to decorate her home's walls. Even more pleasing are the numerous "easter egg" details planted in the peripheries of the pages - the mice that rule the cat, the flag-waving lizards at the imaginary race, the recurring planes and birds in flight, and much more. Even very young children will enjoy playing "what's that?" or "where's the ladybug?" with Dollak's detailed, colorful pictures.
The story of Frannie's relationship with her dog Pickles will appeal to young ones as an engaging, silly story of role-reversal; those children who've taken a turn at the family pet's water dish will no doubt find a certain amount of confirmation here. At the same time, older children will find valuable underlying social ideals, such as treating others as you'd like to be treated, and imaging yourself in someone else's place, all couched in a clever and engaging context.
Did I mention the pipe smoking, hat-wearing squirrels? Story: 4 stars, illustrations: 6 stars.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A surprising and amusing children's story 18 Feb. 2004
By Andrew Parodi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
FRANNIE AND PICKLES is an amusing story about a woman, Frannie, and her best friend, Pickles the dog. One day they decide to trade roles in life. It's a startling and surprising transition. I've never seen any children's story like this! Preston McClear's narrative is engaging, and Nicholas Dollak's illustrations are vibrant and endearing. Though I have to disagree with age recommendation listed on this page. I think the bar needs to be lowered by about two years; rather than 4-8, I think FRANNIE AND PICKLES is best suited for something more along the lines of 2-6.

My mom is training in early childhood education, so I naturally offered her a look at the book. She found FRANNIE AND PICKLES so unusual and surprising that I ended up giving her my copy to share with the children at her daycare center.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great book for both kids and adults 15 Dec. 2003
By Peggy Vincent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes it's difficult to find a book that an adult will actually enjoy reading over and over and over to a child who is hooked on one particular story. Frannie and Pickles just might fit the requirements in somewhat the same way Winnie the Pooh tales do: folks of different ages can appreciate the humor on different levels.
The basic plot is simple: Frannie and her dog Pickles trade places for a day. The fun and laughter come from the character development that occurs as a result of the ploy. Add to the mix the fact that it's a good easy beginning reader for kids, and the author and illustrator have a winner.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Classic Style of Storytelling & More Fun than a Carnival 16 May 2005
By J. H. Sweet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful tale and a beautiful book, one I am thrilled to add to my collection of children's books to cherish and read again. Frannie and Pickles is truly a significant contribution to modern children's literature, yet the author has a classic style of storytelling comparable to that of Beatrix Potter and L. Frank Baum.

The story of best friends, a woman and a dog, switching places for the day is zany and amazing fun. I loved their adventures. And I love how a great book makes me feel. This story reminded me of many book and movie adventures I enjoyed in childhood. After reading this story, I found myself reminiscing about great Disney films like The Parent Trap, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and The Jungle Book. I also found myself thinking about wonderful books I read growing up like The Brave Little Tailor, Johnny Appleseed, Rikki Tikki Tavi, and for some reason, Oliver Twist. I believe Mr. McClear's fantastic ability to tell a good story brought about my fond memories of these classic tales.

Great literature is very powerful and has the ability to make us laugh, cry, and reminisce. Frannie and Pickles does all of these things. I am looking forward to reading it again.

J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles
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