When a teacher asks her students to invite someone in whom they will talk about for a whole minute, the schoolboy protagonist is left rather concerned. Who could he possibly talk about for a whole minute?
After exploring all possible avenues, he is left with Frank, his ‘greyscale’ granddad who literally stands out from the bright, bold characters of the rest of the book. Granddad talks in clichés about the older generation: ‘things were tougher back then’, ‘today’s music is just noise’, ‘you can’t trust doctors as far as you can throw them’. Up against the likes of Kristian’s dad, who is a comedian, Donny’s dad who works in a crisp factory and Paolo’s mum who is Italian, the boy is devoid of interesting things to say about Frank. However, he is in for a pleasant surprise when his granddad – with his rich past and sense of humour – takes over and steals the show.
A captivating tale in itself, the real magic of The Frank Show is the way it explores the rift in understanding between generations, and the true stories one unlocks when curious children take the time to ask their grandparents to tell them about their lives…
David Mackintosh’s illustrations – scrawled and coloured-in with no respect for the boundaries of the lines, yet with intricate points of detail – are clever insights into a grandson’s imagination. With depictions unpinnable to a distinct era, Frank’s youth is populated by Victorian circus acts, tanks and dinosaurs; later, he rides into battle in British redcoat garb, alongside WWI cavalrymen, Roman chariots and winged humans straight out of Ancient Greece.
Illustrator A London-based designer, illustrator, typographer working across advertising, television and publishing, David Mackintosh has illustrated and authored countless children’s picturebooks over the past 20 years, including Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School and Standing in for Lincoln Green.