Sunday 17 June 2012

Picture Book review: Frank N Stan

Frank'nStan Frank'nStan by M. P. Robertson (Walker Books)
HC RRP $27.95
ISBN 9781847801302
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Robertson has added another incredible piece to his large body of illustrated and written work. Fantasy is his genre and through it he brings his imagination to life.

Frank is an only child who longs to have a brother or sister and is tired of his mother saying  ‘we’ll see’ each time he asks about it. Frank decides to take matters into his own hands. He will build himself a brother and call him Stan.

First he goes to the scrap metal yard and gets the parts, the nuts and bolts. He works deliriously in his workshop, soldering and screwing, wiring and joining. Things start ‘coming together’. After some adjustments and fine tuning, the unconventional Stan joins the family circle and from then on, Frank is never alone.

But it’s when the unexpected happens and mother gives Frank a baby sister named Mary that things go a little crazy. Stan is slowly replaced by Mary until they all realize that three can have as much fun as, if not more than, two.

This is a terrific story about being lonely, being different, and being accepted regardless of your differences. The outstanding artwork is produced using pen and watercolour and fills each page with movement and colour.

The illustrations and the text are perfectly synchronized and weave across the page as one. The end papers carry images of Frank’s workroom and his work-in-progress depicted in natural cream and brown shades. The colourful jacket is a replica of the book’s hard cover depicting Frank ’n Stan.

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