Suppose you have to talk about a family member for show-and-tell at school and the only family member who isn’t busy is your grandfather. All you know about Granpa Frank is that he’s old and he prefers everything to be the way it was back in his day. This is the crisis that David Mackintosh’s young narrator faces in The Frank Show, the hilarious story of a boy who discovers that old age may make a person different, but it certainly doesn’t make him uninteresting.

Granpa Frank doesn’t like doctors, or today’s music, or haircuts. The only flavor of ice cream he eats is vanilla. His grandson can’t imagine there is anything else about Granpa Frank that he doesn’t know, and there is only so much one can say about preference for vanilla to fill “one full minute” during show-and-tell.

When he brings Frank to school, sure that Frank will embarrass him, his grandfather does just the opposite. Granpa Frank tells the wild story of his days as a soldier, including a glorious battle and the singlehanded capture of 100 men. Tom’s drum-playing uncle and Paolo’s Italian mother suddenly pale in comparison to the exciting adventures of Granpa Frank. As Frank becomes the class hero, the young narrator takes pride in his relative and basks in the adulation of his classmates.

Complete with lively pen-and-ink illustrations, this offbeat picture book is sure to become a family favorite. Along the way, it may prompt children to wonder what exciting details their grandparents have yet to reveal about their own life stories.

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