This utterly enchanting tale will take readers on an unforgettable adventure. Full of heart, humour and the most perfect and imaginative toys a boy could have. Which prompted Walker Books to ask the charming Ross Montgomery about his favourite childhood toy.

Read on to meet “Frankie”!

I’m proud to say that I’m looking at my favourite childhood toy right now – Frankie, who’s spent the last 20 years languishing in a cupboard in my mum’s house, but who has finally made the transfer to my study where he lolls in judgement on a bookshelf!

Let’s face the facts here: Frankie’s not going to win any beauty awards. As far as I can tell from the faded writing on his front, he’s a promotional soft toy for some sort of Scandinavian insurance company. I’ve always assumed that he was a Frankenstein’s monster – hence Frankie – but when I brought him home my girlfriend immediately pointed out that he’s quite clearly supposed to be a monkey. So yeah, there’s that.

As with most things that happened in my childhood, I have no idea how or why Frankie came to be such an integral part of my life. I remember buying him at a jumble sale and holding him in front of me and just thinking, “Yes”. From that point on, he was my favourite thing ever. I have pinpoint-vivid recollection of the day that my older sister’s friend fell out a tree and hurt herself quite badly – I think she broke her ankle – and so to make her feel better, my sister grabbed Frankie out my hands, cried “don’t cry, Frankie’s hurt too!”, and pounded him on the ground until his stitches split open and he exploded in a shower of lentils. I was so upset I ran away and stood in a field, feeling wounded and wronged, gazing at the horizon like Scarlet O’ Hara swearing she’ll never go hungry again in Gone With The Wind. I never did get revenge on my sister, but it’s her 36th birthday soon so maybe I’ll send her a confetti bomb.

Thank you to Walker Books and Ross Montgomery for this lovely introduction to Frankie, a firm favourite toy.

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