Fabulous Franko and His Fabulous Toys

What It Is

Fabulous Franko is an eccentric character who’s “fabulous toys” are really vehicles that he uses to go on adventures. Truth be told, Franko’s adventures are really MISadventures, and the rhyming narrative brings us through many mishaps and crashes. While Franko always emerges unscathed, he lands his car in the mud, loses control of his plane, sinks his boat and basically destroys every vessel that he pilots. After he spends his last dime on a rocket that crashes upon landing, he must think long and hard about what his next “toy” or hobby will be. He realizes that there are many things to do that don’t require big fancy, shiny “toys” such as reading, playing a game or the most important “hobby” of all—using one’s imagination.

Why It’s Fun

In the same vein as Willy Wonka, Jane Matlock’s story is a fantasy with an off-beat character in a vivid larger-than-life world. Kate Seeley’s Illustrations are very colorful and, though a bit busy, help convey Franko’s outlandish world. The rhyming verse is very smooth and fun to read for adults. Ms. Matlock is Australian and there are some fun language differences between British English and American English, such as “aeroplane” for “airplane” and “loo” for “bathroom,” that are explained at the back of the book.

Who’s Going To Love It

Any child who has an active imagination or is an adventurer will truly enjoy hearing about Franko. As an adult, I am partial to rhyming stories because they can be so fun to read and you can play up certain parts as you get to know the verses. Because this book originated in Australia, you probably won’t find it in U.S. libraries, but it can be purchased in the U.S. on www.think-a-lot.com.

Reading Time

About 6-7 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

8 out of 10

Book Information

Fabulous Franko and His Fabulous Toys
By: Jane Matlock; Illustrated by Kate Seeley
Published by: In the U.S. under license by Think-a-lot Toys (2010)
Approximate retail price: $17.99 (hardcover; available at www.think-a-lot.com)
Publisher’s recommended ages: 2 and up


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