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Posted & filed under Children's Book Reviews

In Frank and Laverne by Dave Whamond and Jennifer Stokes, kids will live a week in the life of two pets with very different motivations. Frank the pug goes on squirrel patrol every morning, and fiercely guards his side of the fence from his bully of a neighbour, Carl the Great Dane. When things get rough, Frank’s feline friend Laverne helps him take his mind off it, and even gets him out of sticky situations. At least, that’s how he sees it—Laverne has other intentions.

Dave Whamond is the Calgary-based children’s author and illustrator of the Oddrey series, My Think-a-ma-Jink, and the creator of the award-winning panel cartoon “Reality Check.” Co-author Jennifer Stokes is a seasoned children’s book editor based in Toronto. Together they created a picture book that explores perspective, reading in one direction from the point of view of Frank, and in the other from Laverne’s. Text and illustrations combine to capture the spunk of each character. For example, Frank reflects that he’ll do whatever it takes to protect Laverne and his humans, and the illustration shows him driving an army tank. Likewise, Laverne’s sights are set on stealing Frank’s stuffed fish, Eugene, and she is stealthily depicted in a ninja suit in one scene.

Kids will want to reread this book once they have both sides of the story. In this way, Frank and Laverne encourages them to consider how people can act for different reasons, based on their unique perspectives of the same situation.

  • Frank and Lavern

    By Dave Whamond and Jennifer Stokes, Illustrated by Dave Whamond, Published by Owlkids Books
    • ISBN 13: 978-1-77147-145-9
Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.