Franklin and Luna and the Book of Fairy Tales
Jen Campbell and Katie Harnett
Thames & Hudson
This is dragon Franklin and his human pal, Luna’s third adventure. Herein the two are about to celebrate bibliophile Franklin’s six hundred and sixth birthday.
Luna and the villagers are planning a special surprise party and to distract Franklin, Luna takes him to a strange bookshop where spiders act as assistants to the lady owner and there are exciting books in abundance.
But the real adventure begins when Luna’s pet tortoise Neil is entrapped by an old book,
and Franklin and Luna follow into what turns out to be, the wondrous world of fairy tales.
There they meet the likely characters – the three little pigs building a hotel,
three bears, a boy who has so he says, sold his cow for magic beans, a ‘yawning princess with a bag of frozen peas’ (love that), as well as a host of other story book inhabitants.
Some of these, including the final one they encounter – a large grey wolf – don’t conform to the stereotype: this huffing creature informs the searchers that he’s turned vegetarian and practises yoga. Not only that, he actually points out the missing tortoise (engaged in a race with a long-eared leporine).
Yes, they do escape from the book – just! – and return to the village for that surprise party, but whether it turns out to be their ‘happily ever after’ as Luna wonders during the celebratory picnic, we’ll have to wait and see.
Young listeners will delight in the story and especially relish pointing out their favourite fairy tale characters, while adult sharers will welcome the creators’ promotion of books, stories and proper bookshops.