As I mentioned in an earlier review, I am taking a course called Literature for Children. Most of the required readings for the course are chapter books, but there are some books, like Franklin in the Dark, that are picture books.
Right away, almost immediately when I started reading, I noticed that the illustrations are very well done. The colour texture, even as much as the drawings themselves, suits the story very well.
The book itself is about Franklin, a young turtle, who is afraid of dark places which of course is a problem because his shell is a dark place. He needs his mom to shine a flashlight into his shell for him to sleep. In order to help overcome his fears, he goes in search of other animals that might be able to help: he finds a lion who is afraid of loud noises, a bird who is afraid to fall, a polar bear who is afraid of the cold, and a duck who is afraid of deep waters. These animals all have their own ways to deal with their fears: ear muffs, parachute, cold suit, and water wings. Franklin is disappointed because none of these items will help him with his fear of the dark. Finally he goes home and finds out that his mom was afraid when she couldn’t find him. Franklin then realized that everyone is afraid of something and that it’s perfectly ok to be and so it was ok for him to sleep with a flashlight.
The moral of the story is obvious and children reading it will be able to figure it out without a problem. Only thing I don’t really like about the book is that it somewhat suggests you have to be secretive about your fears; the animals don’t pull out their items to overcome their fear until no one is watching. Still I think it’s a good book for children aged 0-8 and 20+.