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Kate Messner


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Frankie: The Untold Story of an Itsy Bitsy Spider

What You Need to Know:
Frankie: The Untold Story of an Itsy Bitsy Spider is the charming backstory of the Itsy Bitsy Spider, as imagined
   by author Carey Mills Federspiel.
• This book is currently available as an iPad, iPhone, or iTouch App.
• Little Nursery Rhyme fans will delight in this imagined prequel.
• This is a perfect choice for parents looking for quality apps for their pre-schoolers.
Sweet Book Summary:
This is a new thing for Sweet on Books: we are reviewing an app! While we are huge supporters of books, books and more books (as you already know), we do keep a realistic eye on the future. We are also parents who have young children with access to our iPads, iPhones, and literally, iEverything. Therefore, we are always looking for quality things to download. Enter Frankie: The Untold Story of an Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Frankie is the brainchild of Carey Mills Federspiel: author, parent and artist. She has taken these 3 talents and created a charming and creative prequel to the celebrated Itsy Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme. Frankie, it turns out, is quite the curious little spider. He can't help but wonder what that cave is (rain gutter) and why it is always dripping; so he decides to explore. I won't spoil the story for you, because you should really download it yourself to experience it, but suffice it to say Frankie is quite the surfer!

The app is set up like a traditional picture book with illustrations and text on each "page". The benefits of the book being in app form include narration and a little movement and/or sound effects on each page. But don't misunderstand; this is not a video game. Think of it as a book with benefits. I especially like the fact that young readers can tap on the text and have it read to them while they follow along. This is a wonderfully helpful tool for emerging readers. Federspiel's gorgeous watercolor illustrations are soothing, as is the narrator’s voice. Frankie is also pretty darn cute.

So, do we think that an app should replace a book? In our sweet opinion, no. Which is why we do hope a companion print edition of this lovely story is forthcoming. Until then, enjoy Frankie on your devices. It is especially nice to have something on my iPhone that I can hand over to my little one without an ounce of guilt! Try it while on a long grocery line or waiting at the doctor's office, you won't be disappointed and neither will your little reader.

* If you click on either image, it will take you to the app store where you can purchase the app.
** All images courtesy of Carey Mills Federspiel.
Author: Carey Mills Federspiel Illustrator: Carey Mills Federspiel Published: 2013
Themes: Adventure, Exquisite Illustrations, Nursery Rhymes, Storytelling
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• Did you ever wonder why the Itsy Bitsy spider kept crawling up the water spout? What do you think was the reason?
• Did you think Frankie was brave? Why or why not?
• What was your favorite part of Frankie's story?
• Are there any nursery rhymes that you wonder about? Name one that you especially love.
• Can you imagine your own prequel for a nursery rhyme that you love? How would you like your favorite nursery
   rhyme to begin?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, Mo Willems
Nursery Rhyme Comics, Various Authors
This recommendation was written by: Melissa Y.

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