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Book Review: Frank and Bert by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (Nosy Crow)

For ages 4+

This book is such a giggle. Children can never have enough of these sweet and nurturing friendship stories in their early years. Going to school or nursery for the first time and making new friends is such a steep learning curve in behavioural development, and books like these can be the perfect ice breaker.

Have you ever played hide-and-seek with really young children… the moment when they put their hands over their eyes and think you can’t see them because they can’t see you, or they’re hiding behind a chair and you can see them through the legs? How adorable and so funny, right?

About the story

Frank, the fox, and Bert, the bear, are two really good friends. However, Frank moans to the reader about how simply awful his friend Bert is at playing hide-and-seek. Bert hides with all the expertise of a toddler! As you can imagine the game is over fairly quickly and Frank wins every time. Until one day, Bert explains to Frank that he’d can’t hide properly because he doesn’t have enough time and therefore never gets to win! Frank kindly says he’ll count to 100 instead of 10… perhaps that’ll help?

Little does Bert know that his neon pink knitted scarf got caught on a tree branch at the start and has unravelled all the way to his hiding place. When Frank follows the wool and spies Bert’s butt sticking out of a cave he has a moment of clarity and realises he could just pretend he’s still looking and let Bert win, because although he loves to win all the time, he realises he loves his friend Bert more!

Chris's illustrations are so full of life and texture, with a simple and unfussy layout. Loving the neon colours too! I won’t reveal the cute little twist at the end...

About the creator

Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is originally from Bradford and studied illustration and graphic design at Bradford College of Art. In 2000 he moved to France where, amongst other things, he was an English teacher before working in newspaper layout and design. When his children were small he realised he loved the picture books he read to them, sometimes even more than his children did – the Picture Book Bug had truly bitten.

Chris has since written and illustrated several books and is currently thinking about the next one, probably with a cuppa in hand at home near Limoges.

He likes listening to and making music, wandering around the countryside, a bit of running and riding a bike. His favourite season is autumn and his favourite colour is green.

There’s a lovely blog post written by the Chris on the Nosy Crow website about how Frank and Bert came to be:

Key themes





Click the pdf link below to download a printable A4 'Frank and Bert' activity sheets! Have a go at playing pairs or writing the story from Bert's point of view. Enjoy!

Download PDF • 2.46MB

Buy this book!

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Format: Paperback (Hardback now out of print)

Publication date: 3 February 2022

*Nosy Crow provided me with a review copy of 'Frank and Bert'.

Please like this post and leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts too!

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