Russell Hoban, author of more than fifty books for children, including some true classics of children’s literature, died December 13,2011. His book, A Bargain for Frances is one of those books I will always remember, as much for the story line a for the conversation the book prompted. Badgers, Thelma and Frances are best friends and Thelma has a way of outsmarting Frances, and one day she tricks Frances into buying her old plastic tea set. When Thelma states “no backsides,” Frances comes up with a plan to teach her friend a lesson. Doing the right thing, fair, friendship, getting even, playing tricks on friends are just a few of the themes covered in the story. No preaching or sermonizing for Russell Hoban—he delivered a story that spoke to many of the ubiquitous dilemmas of childhood and friendship. Don’t even think of allowing your child to leave childhood behind without experiencing the sheer delight of the Frances books. A heads up, the story about two badgers and a tea set is NOT a book just for girls!