Great Illustrated Books

Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom

By Eric Wight

Simon & Schuster Children, 2009
Pages : 96
Suggested Ages: 7-9
ISBN: 1416964843

Franklin Lorenzo Piccolini, more commonly known as Frankie Pickle, is a kid with a rich fantasy life. Black and white graphic novel panels of Frankie as an adventurer in the belly of the jungle, in prison, and as the caped superhero, Wonder Pickle, alternate with text chapters of a more mundane sort. Frankie's room is a disaster, but that's just how he likes it, and now it's time to straighten it up, like any non-superhero would. He tells his mom, "I don't see the point of cleaning. My room's just going to get dirty again." Astonishingly, his mom agrees, telling him it's his space and he can do with it what he wants. The catch? "Whatever happens, you have to deal with the consequences," she warns him. He'll never have to clean it again, right?

Well, of course you know he's going to make a terrific mess and have to deal with the consequences. Ask your kids what advice they could give Frankie on keeping their rooms neat. Have your kids write and illustrate a graphic page of "room disaster" stories of their own. This will be a big hit.

Meet another kid with domestic problems ("Julian? Would you please take out the trash?") and a rich imagination in Julian Rodriguez: Episode One: Trash Crisis on Earth, a graphic novelette by Alexander Stadler. If you want to follow up on the I-don't-want-to-take-a-bath aspect, read "The Radish Cure" from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, which is always a big hit with kids. There's even an adorable half-hour video of the story you can watch online (Google it or look on, with Jean Stapleton as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and Joan Cusack and Ed Begley, Jr., as the dirt-encrusted little Patsy's long-suffering parents.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Benton, Jim. The Fran That Time Forgot. Simon & Schuster, 2005. (And others in the Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist series.)

Bruel, Nick. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath. Roaring Brook, 2008.

Davis, Eleanor. Stinky. Little Lit Library, 2008.

Fucile, Tony. Let's Do Nothing! Candlewick, 2009.

Holm, Jennifer L., and Matthew Holm. Babymouse: Our Hero. Random House, 2005. (And others in the Babymouse series.)

Look, Lenore. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things. Schwartz & Wade, 2008.

MacDonald, Betty. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Lippincott, 1947.

Pilkey, Dav. The Adventures of Captain Underpants: An Epic Novel. Scholastic/Blue Sky, 1997.

Stadler, Alexander. Julian Rodriguez: Episode One: Trash Crisis on Earth. Scholastic, 2008.

Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath. Dial, 2009.

Wight, Eric. Frankie Pickle and the Pine Run 3000. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

Critics have said

Wight matches a silly story to black-and-white cartoon graphics in a chapter-book format. Readers who have graduated from Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants and Ricky Ricotta series (both Scholastic) will be charmed by this longer story.
School Library Journal