Meet animal loving baby Frank. So desperate is he for a pet that when his parents reject his pleas for same, he takes the law into his own tiny hands – ‘He waited till the coast was clear, / with Mum stuck in a queue… / then Frank put on a bandit mask / and disappeared from view.’ – and stages a bank robbery.
Back home he uses the family computer to order himself the object of his desires using some of his ill-gotten gains. However, not content with just one pet – a meerkat – Frank continues spending until his home is well nigh stuffed with animals, large and small.
He might have continued so doing but, having discovered an outsized creature in the shed, his Mum soon unearths Frank’s misdeed (the stash of cash and bandit mask in his room are a bit of a giveaway).
Frank is quick to see the error of his tiny ways but by then the cash is all gone and so it’s left to Dad to come up with a suitable plan to make recompense to the bank. In case you’re wondering whether the young criminal mastermind gets to serve time behind bars, then the answer is yes, although perhaps not quite in the manner you might expect.
Debut author Whalley’s jaunty, rhyming laugh-out-loud tall story is suitably illustrated by Weekend Guardian cartoonist Stephen Collins whose droll scenes will delight both the young and not so young.