Mr. Frank by Irene Luxbacher
Luxbacher’s illustrations are about; colours, patterns and creating. Her story is about a tailor, Mr. Frank who is illustrated as an older gentleman with; a slightly arched back, reading glasses, white hair and an overall warm soft edge to his figure. Mr. Frank sits but not still, his work station is in front of a window representing (in my opinion) time passing by.
Mr. Frank has made a career of creating unique and vibrant outfits for generations and his creations are a mixture of; serious times, wild times, performances and finally just plan FUN time. I have taken up sewing, not seriously but a playful and experimental way and this book has inspired me.
Luxbacher counts the years of Mr. Frank’s work backwards, in ten year increments representing the eras of significance.
It would certainly be playful. Even more playful than the dresses and skirts he hemmed forty-some-odd years ago.
The text is written casual as if talking to someone you know;
… Mr. Frank decided it was finally time to pack up his shop. He would hang up is measuring tape, unplug his iron and put away his pins for the very last time.
Beginner readers would not know the meaning of “pack up his shop” but the parent or grandparent reading the story would. The illustrations speak volumes for the meaning of what is happening, and a children with grandparents will see the actions in Mr. Frank and know what they mean.
The illustrations are mix medium; photos, drawings, fabric and repeated patterns of colour and design. The illustrations have a way of contributing to the “what” a tailor’s shop is all about by the; texture and repeat patterns, fabric.
The Conclusion is about relaxing the seriousness of years gone by and playing with a different style colour and design. I bet the last illustration will encourage many grandparents to share their wealth of knowledge to a younger generation.