Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled Book Poster Image
Playful intro to academic subjects via curious boy and pup.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Intro to fields of study: botany, entomology, chemistry, astronomy, taxonomy, math, geometry, geography, history, art, foreign language. Intro to concepts of infinity, fractions and percentages, more than/less than/equal to, still life, composition, perspective, horizon line, maps. History of dogs and domestication. Some Spanish words in speech balloons.

Positive Messages

Opportunities for learning are everywhere. If we're curious and ask questions and investigate them, we can always learn new things. Life is sweeter with a friend and pet.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Frank and Lucky are excellent role models. They're curious about the world and always asking questions and investigating. They're not afraid to throw themselves into sophisticated fields of study. They love and care for each other.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Newbery winner Lynne Rae Perkins (Criss Cross) is a warm, witty boy-dog friendship story that's also chock-full of information. When Frank adopts Lucky, the two explore the world around them, and their insatiable curiosity is contagious. Read: "The time Lucky wondered about skunks, they learned about Chemistry" as Frank experiments with different substances to wash out the smell. The story introduces a range of academic subjects -- entomology, geometry, history -- as well as concepts -- percentages, infinity, perspective -- showing that opportunities for learning abound in the world around us.

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What's the story?

In FRANK AND LUCKY GET SCHOOLED, Frank was having an unlucky day when he went to the animal shelter and "got Lucky." Boy and dog bond quickly and explore the world around them: "Both of them were just pups. They had a lot to learn." Lucky investigates in a dog-like way ("Can I catch it? Can I eat it?") as Frank poses more scholarly questions -- for instance, one involving percentage and fractions ("How much of the bed is Lucky's, and how much is Frank's?"). Perkins relates the questions directly to academic fields of study, pointing out the relationships to math, botany, entomology, chemistry, astronomy, taxonomy, geometry, geography, history, art, and foreign language, but "the whole wide world with Lucky was the subject Frank liked best."

Is it any good?

This playful and ambitious picture book is a warm friendship story of a boy and his frisky rescue pup as well as a celebration of learning and a friendly introduction to serious academic subjects. As Frank and Lucky roam the meadow and woods that border their house, they search the night sky for stars (astronomy), pick burrs from Lucky's fur (botany), make friends with quacking ducks and a Spanish-speaking neighbor (foreign language), and share the limited space of a bed (math, fractions). The two wander and wonder, asking questions about the world around them, and as Frank and Lucky Get Schooled, so does the reader.

Written and illustrated by Newbery winner Lynn Rae Perkins, the book's exquisitely crafted. The lively, free-roaming structure mirrors Frank and Lucky's own wide-ranging adventures, and there's plenty of sly humor and clever text in this masterful tribute to the world and its wonders.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the subjects covered in Frank and Lucky Get Schooled. Did you know the names of any of them before this story? Do you understand what they mean now?

  • What are the differences between the way Frank experiences the world and how Lucky does? How are their questions different?

  • What questions do you have about the world? How can you investigate them?

Book details

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