Reviews /

Frank and Bert

Authored by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Published by Nosy Crow

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A humorous and joyful book where two friends work together to succeed. Frank and Bert decide to go for a bike ride but although Frank can ride a bike, Bert is a bit ‘wibbly-wobbly’ and needs some help from his friend. And so, their amusing endeavours begin…

Any child who has learnt or is learning to ride a bike will be able to associate and empathise with the feelings that Bert has and his lack of confidence to go it alone. Here the theme of trust may be explored with the children as Frank loses faith in his friend who promised to be right there but wasn’t. As friends they are able to work through this and come up with a solution before there is a comical twist to end the story – but I won’t spoil that for you!

It is interesting that it is the bigger of the two friends that needs the support and this is something to explore further with young readers. The illustrations are fun with bright colours and distinct facial expressions. The cycle helmets are clearly evident and give the opportunity to discuss the importance of wearing helmets when cycling. Both characters wear them so it is not just for learners!

The story is written from the perspective of Frank and it therefore feels as though Frank is talking to us the readers, almost making us part of the story. There is a QR code included on the inside cover where an audio reading can be heard (although the reader does not sound like I imagine Frank would sound).

This is not the first Frank and Bert story – I haven’t read any others but will be looking out for them as this one had me hooked. It is suitable for 4-7 years and would make an appropriate classroom read for a Reception class but could equally be explored by younger and older age groups too. A must have book for early years and KS1 classrooms.