Monday, October 4, 2010

Frances is Fifty!

Frances the badger made her first appearance 50 years ago in Bedtime for Frances. Russell Hoban, the book's author, got the idea from the daughter of his next-door neighbors, who was always finding inventive ways to put off bedtime. But it was illustrator Garth Williams who determined that Frances would be portrayed as a badger. Today it's hard to imagine her being anything else! Frances went on to star in five more stories (all illustrated by the late Lillian Hoban, the author's then wife): A Bargain for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, Best Friends for Frances, A Birthday for Frances, and Bread and Jam for Frances.


To honor this publishing milestone, HarperCollins is issuing Frances 50th Anniversary Collection, a boxed set of paperback I Can Read! editions of Bread and Jam for FrancesBest Friends for Frances, and A Bargain for Frances. Read more about this Anniversary Collection at Publishers Weekly.   


My favorite of the Frances books has always been Bread and Jam for Frances. A picky eater, Frances prefers bread and jam above all other foods. This changes when her mother starts giving her bread and jam for every meal. Frances soon tires of her sticky treat and has a meltdown when she's not served spaghetti and meatballs with the rest of her family. 


I was not a picky eater as a child (in fact anything but), however I did have a similar experience as a teenager when for some reason I became fixated on hamburgers. I demanded them so often that my grandmother bought five pounds of ground meat from the butcher and fed me hamburgers for dinner every night. Guess what? it worked. By the time the meat was gone so was my desire for hamburgers. Like Frances, I learned that you can have too much of a good thing. 







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