Publication Date: September 2012
Frank follows the motto, "Honesty is the best policy." He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Frank never lies to his schoolmates, he always tells the truth to adults, and he’s always honest with police officers. The balancing act of finding tact, that fine line between telling the truth and telling too much truth, is the main theme of this story, and it's very funny—although not necessarily to his friend Dotti whose freckles remind Frank of the Big Dipper, or to the teacher who hears that her breath smells like onions, or to the principal who is told that his toupee looks like a weasel. No one is quite as impressed with Frank’s honesty as he thinks they should be. He is sweet and straightforward, and, well, very frank, but with everyone annoyed at him, Frank is now honestly unhappy. He decides to visit his confidante and pal, Grandpa Ernest, who has a history of frankness himself. With a few lessons from Grandpa, Frank begins to understand that the truth is important, but so is not being hurtful. With amusing characters and expressive artwork, this story tells the powerful message of finding the good in everything—a lesson that sends compassion and understanding to take the place of rudeness in the complex concept of truth.
Donna W. Earnhardt writes children's stories, poetry, songs, and mysteries. She has been published in such magazines as Highlights for Children and the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators newsletter, and by Blue Mountain Arts. She lives in Concord, North Carolina. Andrea Castellani is an animator, a director, and a concept artist for Cartobaleno Animation Studio. He has won numerous awards for his animation and directorial talents and his art has been exhibited at the Davico Art Gallery in Torino and at the Mitreo Art Gallery in Rome. He is the illustrator of books that include Ciccio Frittata, Wild Imagination, and Perle: Winx Club.
"Earnhardt's debut is a humorous object lesson in honesty. . . . Italian illustrator Castellani's blocky and bright Saturday-morning-cartoon–style illustrations amp the wackiness and make this frankly fun. On-the-mark help for the parents of inadvertently tactless tots." —Kirkus Reviews (September 2012)
"Newcomer Earnhardt makes her point with solid pacing and lots of laughs. . . . Italian illustrator Castellani's digital artwork is crisp, colorful, and energetic. . . . While Frank might not persuade sharp-tongued children to mend their ways, the story provides a useful array of good ways to deliver bad news." —Publishers Weekly (September 17, 2012)
"This cute and captivating story demonstrates to kids how being brutally honest isn't always necessary. . . . Earnhardt's book is a thoughtful approach in teaching kids to always stay honest, but to be mindful of emotions and soften their approach." —Michigan Reading Journal (September 2012)