Books & Literature

Book Review: Call Me Frank, by Rebecca Watson

PICTURE BOOK: School is terribly lonely for a shy boy named Francis Frank. Before climbing into bed one night, he wishes for a friend to play with. During a dream, Francis Frank meets his imaginary friend, Charles Charlie.

A book with a sweet message: There’s no one else like you and that’s your superpower.

Frances Bowl, or Frank, as he likes to be called, is a very shy boy. The kids at school tease him and call him Fish Bowl. He doesn’t have anyone to play or eat lunch with. This makes Frank feel very sad and terribly lonely. His one wish is for a friend. While dreaming, Frank makes a friend called Charles Charlie. They go on all sorts of adventures together.         

When Frank wakes up, he feels happy because he realises, for the first time, he won’t be spending lunch time alone; he can bring his imaginary friend, Charles Charlie, with him! Together, Frank and Charles sail the seven seas, battle dragons, fly to outer space and delve deep into the enchanted forest. Frank doesn’t feel lonely anymore—each day, he cannot wait for the bell to ring so he and Charles can play together. Charles offers Frank a feeling of security, comfort and most importantly, friendship! Suddenly the other children start to notice Frank, but for a different reason this time.

Call Me Frank is a delightful story, with its messages delivered simply: embrace your unique self, don’t let the bullies get you down, just keep being you and let your imagination run wild! While quite basic, the illustrations make for a pleasant addition to the text.

Call Me Frank is written by first-time author, Rebecca Watson, a teacher from South Australia. Her experiences as a teacher inspired her to write this story. 

As a fellow teacher, I think we’ve all taught a Frank—a creative and unique child who hasn’t quite found his place at school. We all cheer as we see the first friendship develop and suddenly the sad lonely child is having fun and laughing in the playground.

This is a great story to read with your primary-school-aged children at home or in the classroom, so they can see how actions can affect others and take another look for the lonely child in the playground. And who knows—doing this, they may just find a new friend. 

Reviewed by Karlie Naulty

Distributed by: Austin Macauley Publishers
Released: 2021 
Approx RRP: eBook, $6.40

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