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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Bargain for Frances - A Review

I really like Frances.  She is one of my favorite children's characters.  If I had to pick one reason why I like Frances so much, it would be the songs.  Frances, like Winnie the Pooh and myself likes to  sing her inner dialogues.

There are 3 or 4 Frances books that rotate as being my favorite.  The distinction for best is generally incumbent upon which one I am reading at the time.  A Bargain for Frances may well be the best of those 4.  For the purpose of  full disclosure, I did read it to Puppy at bedtime tonight.

One of the reasons I like it so much is that it deals with the sensitive issue of being taken advantage  of  or manipulated by a peer  and does so in a perceptive, and wry way.

As indicated in  Lillian Hoban's delightful cover art, The titular bargain in " A Bargain for Frances has to do with a tea set.  Frances is saving her money for a china tea set, and is tricked by her friend Thelma to buy her plastic one instead.  She is tricked, even though her mother had just reminded her that whenever Frances plays with Thelma, Frances gets the worst of it.Frances  definitely gets the worst of the tea set transaction when Thelma uses the proceeds from the  sale to  buy the very type of tea set Frances had been saving for.  Finding she has been hoodwinked, Frances cleverly turns the tables on Thelma.

There is so much that I adore about this book.  The best part , for me, has to be Frances' comment to a rebuffed Thelma that they could be careful or they could be friends.  And as Frances says at the end of the book, being friends is better. 

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