Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

Friday for Frances (a giveaway!) April 8, 2011

Filed under: reads,Stuff — dayna @ 4:35 am

Have you met Frances? I sure hope so.

I’m sort of a nut about kid’s books. Or “children’s literature” if you want to be really proper about things. Thanks to my somewhat sentimental, majorly bookish type parents, I still have many of the actual copies of my favorite childhood books.  This is slightly less weird now that I am a parent myself.I often find myself recommending a book that I adored as a child; only to pause, wondering if it will still hold up under the scrutiny of my “now-a-mom” filter.

I am pleased to announce that in 2011, Frances doesn’t disappoint. In fact, she delivers.

Frances is Russell Hoban’s precocious young badger. She captures hearts and entertains as she faces the challenges of early childhood with her clever, often pointed songs. Although most of these books were written in the 1960’s, Frances’ parents remain brilliant in their calm, affectionate, and logical dealings with their youngsters. Frances learns her lessons in her (humorous) own time.

Now for a little overview of some (chronological) Frances antics:

In Bedtime for Frances, Frances struggles with learning to “put herself to sleep” and pulls all the usual tricks to delay bedtime. The always perfect Garth Williams’  illustrations are especially sweet in this one.

In A Baby Sister for Frances, the new big sis decides that “things are not very good around here anymore” after little Gloria joins the family. She proceeds to run away (to under the dining-room table), and eventually learns of her own special place in the badger family.

Bread and Jam for Frances is probably our household’s favorite. When Frances decides she wants to eat nothing but bread and jam, her unflappable parents lovingly ensure that this happens. Meanwhile, Frances receives brilliant counsel from her ahead-of-his-time “foodie” friend Albert.

Frances tries to cope with her younger sister’s spotlight in A Birthday for Frances. Her songs, spelling, and dialog in this one are spot-on hilarious. You just have to read this book (and laugh) out loud.

In Best Friends for Frances, our heroine learns some bittersweet lessons about childhood friendships and family. Although the gentle messages in this book are well-taken, there is a little name-calling (which made for some important discussion with our three-year old).

There are a few Frances books that we have yet to read: Egg Thoughts and Other Frances Songs, and A Bargain for Frances. I would love to hear your comments if you have read those…


(No, she isn’t incarcerated, I’m giving her away!)

Leave me a topic related comment by Friday 4/15/11, (which book you would like perhaps:)).  I’ll contact the randomly selected winner by e-mail to get your mailing address and… voila! Free Frances of your choice delivered to your door.

P.S. Don’t books make the best gifts?

Congratulations to Becky and Amanda who are both getting some Frances! You never know what’s going to happen around here;)


8 Responses to “Friday for Frances (a giveaway!)”

  1. I have never read Frances. But I am very intrigued! There are so many books from my childhood that I can’t wait to read with Lily. Some older kid stuff included. A few that come to mind, anything by Roald Dahl, Little Women, and my favorite, A Tree Goes In Brooklyn. Have you read it? It is the most wonderful book. The main character is Francie. And I’ve always thought about naming one of my daughters after her….

    Anyway, I’m so glad someone shares my children’s book nerdiness problem. Thanks for this post!


    • *Sorry it’s called A Tree Grows in Brooklyn……not goes:)

    • dohadden Says:

      I’m embarassed to admit that I have never read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” I have always heard of it as an important work. I’ll have to get to it soon…

      We love lots of the same older kid books: Roald Dahl, Margaurite Henry, Frances Hodgson Burnett to name a few…

      “One of your daughters”… curious how many you are planning on, friend;)

      Yup- total children’s book nerd. Hoorah!

  2. becky b. Says:

    Can it be true- that I a mother of 3 children, 6 and under has never read Frances either? Off to the Library I go!

    BTW- LOVED your “Honking” post- even shared it with my ladies small group. They thought it was an awesome way of looking at things. You are brilliant!

    • dohadden Says:

      I can’t believe you haven’t read Frances! I guess she might be slightly more girl oriented but I think the fellas (and their mama) would still enjoy them.

      Thanks for the kind words. I can’t take ANY credit though- just trying to obey these days…

  3. stephanie Says:

    I missed the giveaway, but I have to say that I like Frances too! In fact, I read “Bread & Jam For Frances” to the girls tonight and thought about how I’d like to buy a few more books from the series.

    • dohadden Says:

      That Frances is something isn’t she? I have to strongly recommend both “Birthday” and “Baby Sister”. Last week we finally checked out “Bargain” and it was really clever also. Hmm, how do we get a care package to those girls of yours…:)

  4. […] legendary illustrations help to tell the stories of a close little family and community. Like Frances‘, the parents are tender, wise, and imaginative in helping little bear explore and […]

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