When we met the book Frank N Stan by M.P. Robertson, we met a “new to us” but very experienced BLG reader, Magnus. Before we get into how wonderful this book is, we have to spend a few minutes to explore just how interesting it was that Magnus chose this book. You see, this book is about a robot of very large proportions. He towers over his creator in the most magnificent of ways! Magnus, it just so happens, does a little towering too. He is 6 foot 9! This did not go unnoticed from the seven and eight year olds amongst us! There were questions and comments and then some. Magnus handled them all with honesty, candor and lots of patient politeness! Kids don’t hold back . . .
“How come your feet are so big?” “How did you get so tall?” “Where do you get your clothes?” “Do you have a 6 pack?” “How many pounds are you?”
Once we knew everything about Magnus, we were ready to begin the story.
And what a wonderful story . . .
Frank would love a younger sibling but when his Mom said, “We’ll see” to his request, he decided to make his own brother. He built a robot and named him Stan. Stan was fashioned out of junk yard parts, sprockets, sockets and a battery. When Stan had an oil leak, one child commented quite seriously, “A robot’s blood is oil.” This robot was unusual, but we accepted him as part of the family! And the family appreciated him for all of his help. This robot vacuums and folds the laundry. “He is being helpful like a Mom,” somebody noted.
Most importantly, Frank loved all of the fun he and Stan had! There was noise and mess and more noise! What could be better? But then a baby girl came into the family. When the story mentioned that she might be a little smelly, students had a lot to say!
“Babies do smell.” “They poo and they pee.” “No, they have diapers!” “They still smell.”
Little baby Mary liked Stan and as she grew, she could do more and more with Frank. Stan began to feel left out and finally decided to leave the family. He trudged out into the snowy landscape, sad and alone. Students were quite upset!
“Oh no, what if he cries?” “He might cry oil!” “The oil tears will go down and make him rusty!”
Poor Stan. eventually he conked out and lost all of his power, slumped down in the snow. Back at Frank’s house, Stan was missed. Frank went searching for him. For a few moments, our room was quiet, intently listening to see if Frank found Stan out in the snowy woods. Was he found? Well . . . Let’s just say our room erupted in applause at the end!
And (spoiler alert) little sister Mary said her first word when she was reunited with Stan. What was it? “Stan!” of course. (Reminded me of the ending of Knuffle Bunny :-))
M .P. Robertson has detailed, creative illustrations that make his books perfect for multiple rereads and quiet exploration. I think this is fast on its way to being one of our class favourites!
Student reviewers respond:
Kelvin: My favourite part was the basement. Stan was sad because they didn’t like him. So he travelled. I was hoping that they would save him.
Pheonix: That was cool! So cool I want to faint. For real. I’m not joking.
Andrew: My favourite part was when Frank built Stan. Stan came alive. I was thinking Stan looks weird. What if Stan gets all rusty?
Arianne: I like him building a robot. I like at the end, it was happy.
Vicky: My favourite part was when Mary said, “Stan!” I have a question for Magnus: Can you touch the ceiling?
Heman: I like when Frank built Stan in the basement. Frank was sad because Stan went away.
Ashley: Why was he a brother and a robot? I like the title because it is a funny title. I like the book!
Grace: Why did Frank want a robot brother? I like the title because it sounds like Frankenstein.