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Frances the Badger

A Baby Sister for Frances

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With the arrival of baby Gloria in the house Frances feels that living with her parents is not as much fun as it used to be, so after dinner she packs her bag and runs away to under the dining room table. But when she overhears her parents talking about how much they all miss her, she decides that she should go back home. After all a being a big sister means she has lots of grown up things to do!

32 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1964

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About the author

Russell Hoban

150 books354 followers
Russell Conwell Hoban was an American expatriate writer. His works span many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, mainstream fiction, magical realism, poetry, and children's books. He lived in London, England, from 1969 until his death. (Wikipedia)

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5 stars
2,306 (50%)
4 stars
1,351 (29%)
3 stars
766 (16%)
2 stars
116 (2%)
1 star
37 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 112 reviews
Profile Image for babyhippoface.
2,443 reviews135 followers
March 15, 2012
I loved Frances when I was a little girl. She was a furry badger, but she and I had some things in common. I couldn't sleep when there was the possibility of a giant, frightening thing crawling out of the crack in the ceiling, either. My mother was great at reading aloud and singing all of Frances' songs, too. I have trouble singing Frances' songs, because I'm never sure how the tunes are supposed to go. It drives me nuts.

That aside, the Frances books remain some of my all-time favorites. In Baby Sister, Frances is upset at the way her life has been turned on its head with the arrival of baby Gloria. No one has time for her anymore. She may as well run away. And where will she run to? Underneath the kitchen table, of course. Where else?

Frances' parents are interminably patient. (Okay, Dad does get the tiniest bit gruff in Bedtime, but it's barely noticeable.) I particularly enjoy the scene where Mother and Father lament over Frances' disappearance in voices loud enough for Frances to hear. She is is the kind of child who engenders lots of >>winkwink, nudgenudge<< moments from her parents, I'd say. A calmer, earlier Junie B., if you will. And that's what makes her so lovable. That and the fact that she's not mine.

>>winkwink, nudgenudge<<
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,335 reviews
May 21, 2013
I have always loved the Frances books! This one is such a sweet and thoughtful look at how the older sibling might feel about a new baby.
Profile Image for Erin Hendrian.
166 reviews20 followers
June 20, 2023
Frances books are the best, and this one is no exception. The understated antics and conversations are just so perfect. 😂 I have always remembered the details of this one (the coffee can of gravel, the box of prunes, the songs, etc), but it's even better reading it as a parent. I distinctly remember understanding this book in a completely different way as a child... like Frances, I thought her parents were wistfully lamenting her absence from the other room, and felt that warm surge of relief and satisfaction that she was needed and wanted before she chose to make her "return." 😄 It's funny to be reminded of my youthful perspective, and the parents' conversation (which I now am old enough to realize was for her benefit.. little Erin didn't get subtlety, I guess 😆) is so funny and heart-warming. It's such a loving children's book that accurately portrays the feelings of childhood and parenthood by "showing, not telling." It never spells out the main conflict of the story (as most modern childrens' books would), but you feel it so deeply just from the carefully chosen details of what is done and said by the characters, and because of that truthful simplicity it's enjoyable at any age, at whatever depth you are able to discern... the best and rarest sort of children's book.

And that's a terribly long sort of review for such a short book, but I feel that passionately about Frances books, I guess. 😅
Profile Image for Stephanie.
132 reviews11 followers
May 14, 2009
I bought this book as a present for my older daughter (astute readers of my reviews will immediately intuit that a BLESSED EVENT has occurred; my younger daughter is almost two months old now and is doing great).

Aside from a disconcerting gap in continuity (I truly thought I had bought a misprinted version with a page missing; it was only after comparing my daughter's book with other versions in the library did I realize that I bought the book the author intended), this was a wonderful book, almost as good as Bread and Jam for Frances, also by Russell Hoban. Poor Frances is coping with the (relatively mild) upheavals in her household after the birth of baby sister Gloria. Her parents, just as they did in Bread and Jam for Frances, deal with Frances's unhappiness with wit and grace, once again showing themselves to be ideal parental role models.

I don't know if life is imitating art or if art is imitating life, but my older daughter has taken to hiding under the dining room table when she feels aggrieved, just like Frances. She also liked the book well enough to request multiple readings.
Profile Image for Katt Hansen.
3,510 reviews96 followers
April 22, 2018
Oddly enough I had never discovered this Frances book before, so it was a delight to come across this particular story at the library.

Here Frances is having a tough time adjusting to a new baby in the house. Again, her reactions are absolutely real and perfectly portrayed. I like that she ran away from home under the dining room table (I ran away there once as a child. It was a nice place to live). I like how her parents reacted, and how they even sang the songs she made up, showing that they paid just that kind of careful attention to her, and the things important to her. Nowhere are her feelings negated, nor is she belittled or laughed at. And in the end, she comes home because she's the one that chooses to, as it should be.

This is storytelling that is extremely honest and poignant and beautiful. Again, Russell Hoban has captured life so perfectly, in a story that has again, held up through the ages. Lovely!
Profile Image for Mathew.
1,525 reviews178 followers
December 15, 2019
Having fallen head-over-heels for Frances in her first outing (Bedtime for Frances) I was very much looking forwards to this little badger's escapades. This time she has to contend with a baby sister, Gloria, and Frances is quick to not the whole house changes in order to accommodate the new arrival. When you're forced to remain quiet all the time and your parents no longer have quite the same amount of time for you *no matter how many times you call them back to bed*, what do you do? Well, Frances takes it upon herself to move out! *Sort of*

Setting up her new home under the dining room table, she reflects on how the family seems to be crumbling without her and decides that, in rolling up her metaphorical sleeves, it's time for her to make a change too and become the big sister that the whole family needs *cue knowing and lovely looks from the parents*. Once again, both Lillian and Russell Hoban come together to bring a sharp-witted and true account of the conflicts of siblinghood.

1,038 reviews117 followers
December 23, 2017
A cute book. Would be a good gift for a child who is soon to be a big brother or big sister.
Profile Image for April Rogers.
120 reviews11 followers
March 1, 2019
This book is SO cute! If a little one is going to run away, this is the best place. Lol We were laughing through the whole book. So sweet!
Profile Image for Brenda.
696 reviews8 followers
March 22, 2021
I used to read these Frances books to our kids. Today I read it to our Grands! Cute book about sibling rivalry when the new baby arrives.
Profile Image for Kelly.
541 reviews76 followers
June 23, 2022
We read this with our little one last night. She enjoys the little songs Frances makes up and sings to herself.
Profile Image for Christine Kallner.
813 reviews41 followers
January 21, 2023
Another great one— wish I had this one when my daughter was born! And now we must read the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Lisa Brown.
2,395 reviews11 followers
April 5, 2016
Another of my all time favorite children's books, and one that I like to give to people who are having a second baby. A clever story about Frances' reaction to a new baby in the house. My favorite scene is where she "runs away" to under the table and her parents have a pretend conversation about missing her while she is gone. I also love the way her parents confront the issue with love and understanding.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,807 reviews417 followers
May 31, 2020
Does anyone actually like the illustrations in this series?
Anyway, it's fun to read them now, and empathize more with the parents than the children. Moms often want to 'run away' and have snacks under the table, esp. when daughters whine about having a banana instead of raisins on their oatmeal.
August 7, 2022
This is the first, and also worst Frances book. I'm so tired of these filthy books that I'm ready to commit hate crimes and arson towards Frances. All of the other books promote certain disgusting topics, but this one goes above and beyond. I did my research and Frances books are banned in over 130 countries. Algeria imposed a full blacklist of Frances just last week. If you are found in possession of any Frances-related articles you can be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

Do you really want your child reading such a taboo, forbidden and shunned book? Their brains are at crucial developmental ages, and filling their minds with such filth will only result in them growing up to be the future scum of society.

Enough of me expressing my disgust at this evil book, we must get on with the review.

The main theme of the book is Frances losing the attention of her parents because of her baby sister being born. Her family runs out of raisins and Frances is so pissed she plans to run away from home. Later her shirts are not ironed and prepared for Frances and she is absolutely fuming about this. In fact, selfishness and entitlement are the main themes of ALL Frances books.

Clickbait is also another horrible part of this book. 50% of the book is spent building up for her great exodus from the house (running away) when this literally means hiding under the dining table. The fact that these books aren't satire baffles me.

This book contains the same reasoning that perpetuates anti-CRT sentiments. Once again, promoting the far-right agenda; no surprise considering the author is a nationalistic veteran (it's true, Google it.) Just like Frances is upset that her family finally turns its eyes to her long-since-ignored baby sister, Frances throws a fit: the same way white supremacists in this country get upset when the government makes any sort of attempt to cure the racism in our system. How can we teach our children to be so selfish? We should teach our children to happily accept when others consume attention, as everyone deserves their equal share. This selfish thinking propels the anti-democratic revolution consuming modern global politics.

Our daughter has tried to kill herself twice after we took her "A Baby Sister for Frances" book. We have to tie her down in her sleep because otherwise she attempts to walk into the busy highway near our residence. We have bluetooth locks on all our doors that can only be opened by a smartphone so she cannot escape. If we let her keep her book its us who have to fear for our lives. Once she somehow found a Frances book in the trash while we were out on a family walk (I wonder why they threw it away) and she immediately started beating us over the head with her bicycle. She was arrested and my wife and I were in the hospital for 2 months.

6 reviews
November 30, 2017
This book is about the struggles of being an older sibling. A young girl has recently become a big sister and is upset about the amount of attention she is receiving from her parents. She assumes that striking out on her own is the best option and shirks any responsibility to her family. While “away” from her family she begins to realize that she does have great responsibility as an older sister and more importantly as a daughter.
I recommend this fiction book for early elementary school students.
I would read this book to a class as a beginning to a unit on family roles or responsibility. This would be a great way to broach the subject of what it takes to be an older sibling or part of a growing family.
The Wow moment I got from this book is that even if you are upset about circumstances, we are still to be held responsible for our actions and jobs.
Profile Image for Suzanne Lorraine Kunz Williams.
1,940 reviews7 followers
October 20, 2019
Sometimes it's hard when new people come into our family. I love the way Frances expresses her emotions. And I love the gentle way Frances' parents show her that they love her.

** Talking Points - What new people have come into your family and how did you feel about them? How did others in the family help you feel better about the change? Tell about your family? How many are there and tell us a little about each of them. Frances runs away. Does she run away in a safe way? What could have happened if she had run away outside the house? Where do you go or who do you turn to when you feel sad?

** Essential Oil Pairing Tip - Feeling unloved? Try diffusing or rolling on doTERRA's Passion essential oil blend. It can be very supportive to your emotions in opening up and loving others and in helping you recognize and trust in the love that people have for you.
Profile Image for Meg McGregor.
3,942 reviews80 followers
March 19, 2019
Frances is just a little bit miffed at her Mom; the new baby, is taking all of Mom's time, away from her. Mom didn't iron her favorite dress for school and she didn't go to the store to pick up more raisins for Frances' oatmeal.

What will Frances do? She is planning on running away.

This story reminded me of the time when I was five, I ran away because my baby brother was getting all of Mommy's attention. I didn't get far - just down the street a little, before I went, running home.

Frances doesn't get far either; but the way, the parents cope with her leaving, is one to remember.
Profile Image for Sandy.
1,408 reviews1 follower
October 30, 2020
My kids enjoy the Frances stories. I think they are just a little on the long side. I do appreciate how Frances' parents don't tell her what to do or how to feel. She isn't happy with how things changed with a new baby. She "runs" away. Over the course of the next few pages, she decides that she rather likes being a part of her family and decides to come home. The story is entertaining, the lessons to be learned about the importance of being the big sister and a part of a family are timeless.
Profile Image for Jo Oehrlein.
6,327 reviews9 followers
August 11, 2018
For a child who can sit still for a bit, as there are a good number of words on each page....

Cute story about Frances who feels a bit neglected (her favorite dress isn't ironed and they're out of raisins) now that her mother is so busy with new baby sister Gloria.

Frances runs away to under the dining table.
Her parents have a great discussion about how family means everyone together, how much they miss Frances, and the things about her that they like.
Profile Image for Heather.
274 reviews6 followers
July 9, 2019
As always, Mother and Father are the model but not overly perfect parents. I like that this story begins sometime after baby Gloria's arrival in the midst of everyday life, unlike most baby stories that depict the mother and baby returning home. And the details are endearing such as Frances requesting a penny raise to her allowance due to her new big sister status or Mother wrapping up the runaway experience with chocolate cake.
Profile Image for Nicholas Driscoll.
1,228 reviews12 followers
December 27, 2019
I read this one to my niece as well, and found it surprisingly charming. The parents are both very loving, and the child (Frances) is very child-like--singing original songs that she makes up, and "running away" by sitting under the table and eating snacks. There is a warm bonhomie feeling throughout the book, which takes its time and just feels good to read. I thought it was really charming!
Profile Image for Rita.
1,454 reviews
August 16, 2020
I love the whole series! Not sure if I had the books for my own children, I think maybe so.
I read them to all my grandchildren.

Some are maybe more directed at parents than at children, I feel; all can be appreciated by parents. The parents are good role models for us to follow.

Goodreads has these on a list of BOOKS FOR FIVE YEAR OLDS
Profile Image for Sean Harding.
3,263 reviews25 followers
January 7, 2021
Frances the badger returns in this one, which I enjoyed more than the first one.
Frances decides to run away for what is fairly dubious reasons, but that is neither here nor there really, ultimately the key part of the story is how the parents get her back in the fold with kind words and reminding her of her importance to the family.
A well told, if a little wordy story.
Profile Image for Ad Astra.
522 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2021
Lovely, but went a little over the head of my 3 year old who is expecting a sister. The book is more about older siblings needing attention and feeling displaced. While my daughter is going through the same thing she couldn't really understand or identify with it. Good for a laugh maybe after having the baby for a while. But not beforehand.
1,995 reviews19 followers
May 8, 2018
Another fun book in the Frances series. This one is ideal for kids with siblings! Frances is fed up with the change in her house with the arrival of her new baby sister. She decides to run away - to under the dining room table. Beautifully illustrated and lovely story.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 112 reviews

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