Baby’s First Jailbreak
Jim Whalley and Stephen Collins
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
The Bank Heist baby Frank is back for another rollicking rhyming adventure, but he’s not the only baby that features in this follow up story. There’s also baby Bruce – more of him shortly.
In case you don’t already know, baby Frank has turned his home into a zoo so that his debts can be paid off for the bank raid he was involved in. This zoo was doing very well for itself but gradually the crowds have dropped off until one morning nobody at all was waiting to pay to enter Frank’s Zoo.
While out for a walk with his parents they come upon the reason for this loss of custom: baby Bruce, of rich parentage,
has opened a zoo too (on his parents private polo pitch) and is now coining it in by showing tutu clad tigers, dancing chimps, bicycling elephants, not to mention penguins wandering around giving out free ice creams. Hmmm! And to make matters worse, the place is festooned with flags bearing Bruce’s face.
Pretty soon, Frank’s Mum has seen enough and Dad is ready to give up in the face of unbeatable competition.
That evening however, Frank is visited by an escaped penguin who tells of the terrible treatment he and his fellow animals at Bruce’s establishment receive, and begs his help.
Needless to say, Frank is on the case immediately, planning a ‘daring prison break’ and by 2am he, together with a few animal friends, head to Bruce’s zoo.
Scaling the high wall isn’t too much of a challenge and neither is picking the lock on the door of the penguin enclosure.
Before long not only the penguins but also the tortoises, hyena and every other creature from the zoo has been liberated and is on the way to the safety of Frank’s home.
The infant zoo-breaker will have a bit of explaining to do next morning when his parents confront the lad about the sudden increase in animal numbers residing with them but before he can do so, there’s a knock at the door.
Baby Bruce and his mother have come calling and are making accusations.
Now what? Can Frank and the animals convince the visitors that they belong right where they are?
The answer is both yes and no, though what happens finally, you’ll have to discover by getting your flippers, trunks or other appropriate appendages on a copy of this corker of a read aloud. That way you can also relish Stephen Collins’ superbly droll illustrations each of which is packed with wonderful chuckleworthy details.