HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Franklin Plants a Tree
Author: Sharon Jennings
Illustrator: Brenda Clark
Publisher: Kids Can Press, 2001
ISBN-13: 978-1550748789 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1550748785 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0439203821 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0439203821 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Jennings, Sharon. Franklin Plants a Tree (published in 2001 by Kids Can Press). The original Franklin the Turtle books, such as Hurry Up, Franklin, were written by Paulette Bourgeois. Beginning in 1997, an animated television series produced by Nelvana Entertainment, based on the books, and named after its main character, Franklin the Turtle, aired on Nickelodeon. Many of the early Franklin television stories were based on books in the original Franklin Adventure book series, but the practice of adapting television stories from books was dropped in the program’s second season. After this, many of the newer Franklin television stories have been made into books in the Franklin TV Storybook series, which are shortened versions of what’s seen on TV and may contain material different from the original books.
In Franklin Plants a Tree, Franklin the Turtle loves to play in trees. It’s Earth Day and Mr. Heron is giving away free trees. Franklin can hardly wait to plant a big climbing tree in his backyard. He digs a huge hole and plans to build a tree house and a swing the same day. But when Franklin gets to the village square, Mr. Heron hands him a tiny sapling. Disappointed, Franklin doesn’t notice when the little tree falls off his wagon. On his search for the lost tree, Franklin discovers that even the very biggest trees in the village started out as something small. Through these events he learns from other animals and his parents about patience and hope and tree care. While I am no big fan of “Earth Day,” this story represents an excellent teaching example for children about the importance of responsibility and their role in accepting responsibility. It also demonstrates how children can benefit from each other’s friendship. Adapter Sharon Jennings is an award-winning author of many books for young people, including C’mere, Boy! and Bearcub and Mama, a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.