Frankie Works the Night Shift
Lisa Westberg Peters, illus. Jennifer Taylor
Greenwillow Books, June 2010
While everyone else is busy dreaming…
…Frankie is hard at work, cleaning and scheming. There's no time for rest.
But here's a little secret — Frankie really seems to enjoy the night shift. Is he working hard or hardly working? Open this book and decide for yourself.
Good job, Frankie!
School Library Journal
PreS-K — Frankie is a ginger cat who earns his keep in his human family's hardware store at night. Whether emptying one wastebasket to get a fish skeleton, spotting a mouse behind six hammers, or chasing his quarry up and down seven ladders, the apron-clad feline is hard at work. His nine bosses are an extended family, humorously shown in single beds pushed side by side. As he chases the mouse across their covers, they wake and exclaim, "Be quiet, Frankie!" and remind him, "Some of us have to work in the morning." Nonetheless, they spot the mouse, shout directions, and praise Frankie for chasing it out the cat door. With his job done and the store in disarray, he yawns 10 big yawns. Children next see him by day, sleeping in the store window-oblivious to outside dogs and a nearby mouse—dreaming of a hammock in the tropics. Taylor uses digital photography for the full-color art, with paint cans, scattered nails, and assorted tools lending authenticity to the hardware-store setting. Both Frankie and the mouse appear to be real animals. The pace picks up considerably as the mouse scurries for safety with Frankie in pursuit. There's a lot to see (and count) in this unusual book.
Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
"Frankie works the night shift. He empties one wastebasket. He cleans two counters." Yes, Frankie the yellow tabby cat works and counts his way around the hardware store until he "spots an intruder behind six hammers! He follows it up and down seven ladders. He chases it in and out of eight nail bins." The chase lands the both of them on the beds of the nine bosses, who aren't too keen on being awakened until one of them spots the intruding mouse. Then Frankie has a cheering section as he chases it from the store. After a good night's work (and ten big yawns), Frankie settles down to his daytime routine-which looks to include a bit of napping. Peters's sly counting-cat tale is given a huge boost of silliness and adrenalin by newcomer Taylor's photo-based digital collages. The puss playing Frankie and his mousey co-star leap and climb across the full-bleed, mostly two-page dynamically composed spreads with gleeful abandon. Enormously entertaining, particularly for the I Spy set. (Picture book. 3-7)