written and illustrated by Eric Wight
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
on the shelves May 5, 2009
Franklin Lorenzo Piccolini (aka Frankie Pickle) is a kid with a runaway imagination. The simple act of reaching for a toaster waffle becomes a scene from an Indiana Jones movie, and when he's sent to clean up his room and finds his GoGo Robo buried in the dirty laundry, it's suddenly time for WonderPickle to save "the metropolitan metropolis of Metro City" from the attack of GoGo Robo, resulting in an even messier room. Surprisingly, his mom agrees with him that if he doesn't want to clean his room, he doesn't have to. She simply says, "Whatever happens, you have to deal with the consequences."
Life is good when you don't have to clean your room! (Except when the Dryer Sheet Fairy stops magically delivering clean clothes.) And if you're not cleaning your room, you might as well skip cleaning yourself, right? ("Seriously, Mom. You're going to have to change his name to Stanky.") Who cares if it gets so bad that your faithful sidekick, the cute Westie named Argyle, won't even come in your room? ("Fine, you're a bed hog anyway.")
Finally, it gets to be too much even for Frankie and he deals with all the consequences, right down to taking a bath that results in water that looks "like milk did from Frosted Cocoa Loops."
This graphic novel hybrid is sure to be a hit with elementary kids in grades 2-5. I asked two of my graphic novel readers to check it out and they loved it. The way the story changes visually when Frankie's imagination takes hold reminded them of Baby Mouse. They liked the fake-brand-names-that-sound-real, like Frosted Cocoa Loops, and the dryer sheet cape that Frankie makes. I wanted my hybrid (Fogmound series) reader to read it next, but another friend was looking for a book when the first two finished, so we gave it to him. I'm pretty sure this is a book that will eventually make a complete circuit of my 4th grade classroom. And we're already looking forward to the next book in the series!
EDITED TO ADD:
From author/illustrator Eric Wight:
"I just turned in my manuscript for Frankie #2: FRANKIE PICKLE AND THE PINE RUN 3000 (the Pinewood Derby meets Speed Racer), and am writing Frankie #3: FRANKIE PICKLE AND THE MULTIPLYING MENACE (math meets Lord of the Rings). The plan is to do at least a dozen of them, with two coming out a year.
Definitely keep me in mind for school visits next year too. I have a couple of fun programs I'm putting together where the kids help me write a little adventure and then I do a drawing of it, or one where I help them make their own comic. By next school year I'll have galleys for the next two books. #2 is due next February, but we are trying to move it up to this November."