Perkins, Lynne Rae. Frank and Lucky Get Schooled. illus. by Lynne Rae Perkins. 32p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062373458.
K-Gr 4 –As the book begins, sequential panels depict a ginger-haired boy having a horrible day; the next set shows a police officer taking a lost Labrador retriever to an animal shelter. When Frank gets Lucky, their mutual joy in learning about each other quickly transfers to other arenas. The dog is particularly interested in science: he wonders about squirrels and observes snow. When Lucky is covered in burdocks and ticks, Frank learns about botany and entomology. In six views of bedtime, readers are invited to measure the fraction of the bed filled by Frank or Lucky. Using a conversational tone, Perkins simultaneously narrates their discoveries and speaks directly to readers, exploring topics ranging from art and geography to foreign languages (Spanish and Duck). After the black Lab encounters a skunk, chemistry experiments change stinky molecules into “not-so-smelly” ones. Some questions do not have an immediate answer, so Perkins segues to new ideas, ultimately resolving them in consequent pages. Discovering school subjects through imaginative scenarios makes learning a delight for the two characters and their audience. Light-infused ink and watercolor panels, spot art, and spreads present additional information; labels and thought bubbles allow insight into Lucky’s perspective. VERDICT This is foremost a story of love between a boy and dog, but even readers who don’t have pets will want to get schooled with Frank and Lucky.
This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2016 issue.