Saturday, October 2, 2010

50th Anniversary of Frances

At our house, we are all big fans of Frances, the wonderful little badger featured in Russell Hoban's popular picture books.  So, I wanted to share this excellent article on the 50th Anniversary of the Francis books from Publisher's Weekly. 

Also, here is a reprint of a brief review I wrote of an audio collection of Frances stories which appeared in the July/August 2005 issue of Family Fun magazine.  Even though I wrote this review years ago, when my boys were much younger (you'll see our audio was actually a cassette tape!), we continued to listen and laugh to the Frances stories for years.

Here's my original review:

Summertime and the living is easy…and the car rides are long.  When we hit the highway with our two boys, Jamie, age 10, and Craig, age 7, we always bring plenty of audio books and stories to pass the miles.  You can bet there’s a long waiting list for the sixth Harry Potter book at your library this summer, so here are some lesser-known audio gems that have become our road trip favorites. 

Russell Hoban’s Francis books already have many fans, but Glynis Johns, best known as the suffragette mother in Mary Poppins, adds a special charm to The Francis Audio Collection.  We’ve heard the four stories on this tape dozens of times over the past five years and we still laugh out loud at Francis’ clever songs and big sister antics.   Ages 3 and up (we haven’t outgrown it yet!)  Harper Children’s Audio, $12 cassette tape.

Are you or your kids fans of Frances?  We may just have to dig out our old cassette tape to celebrate her 50th anniversary!


Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I'm walking up to the book shelf where I keep my daughters' old children books to see if we have any Francis books still around. I used to LOVE her. 50 years. Wow. Goes to show how some literature is timeless. I had kids fighting over Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak yesterday in the library (and I have four copies)and the book is over ten years old. Another boy checked out Where the Red Fern Grows. I loved that book. I should reread it.

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

By the way. You are a very good writer. I enjoyed reading your reviews of the audiobooks which included Bread and Jam for Francis. I always wondered who wrote those type of reviews. now I know.

Sue Jackson said...

Anne -
yes, the oldies are still some of the best!

And thanks so much for your kind words about my writing. You made my day!


Jan von Harz said...

Never read this series, but loved your review, and I can see how Glyniss John's voice would certainly add to any audio

visionbird said...

I still have bedtime for Frances in my book collection. One of my favourites!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

50 years?!? That calls for a celebration ... bring on the bread and jam!

We love, love, love the Frances books. Classics that appeal to the kid in me still. Thanks for reposting your review (sadly, our cassette tapes were tossed in our last move)

Sue Jackson said...

Bread and jam! Perfect! We love to quote from that book..."I like a good lunch." ha ha