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Arthur and the True Francine
Author Marc Brown
Illustrator Marc Brown
Publication date June 19, 1981 (original issue)
April 15, 1996 (re-issue)
Published by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 9780316119467
Publication Order
Preceded by
Arthur's Valentine (1980)
Followed by
Arthur Goes to Camp (1982)

Arthur and the True Francine (originally published as The True Francine) is the fourth book in the Arthur Adventure series. It was first published in 1981 by Little, Brown and Company and was re-published in 1996 (the same year the episode premiered) with a re-illustrated cover, although the page illustrations were recycled from the original publication. The cover illustration of the first edition depicted Francine wearing a green baseball cap with the yellow "F" emblem, her shirt with "SLUGGERS" on the front, and holding a baseball bat; and the cover illustration of the renewed edition depicts Arthur and Francine out in the baseball field, but changed Francine's baseball cap from green to red and removed the "F" emblem from that cap and "SLUGGERS" from her shirt as well. It became adapted as an episode as the second half of Episode 14 of Season 1 in 1996, although the story is quite different.

This book is also the first book where Arthur and his friends are in the third grade, and that school year has since become their present time in the series. (A few elements from this book relating to the kids starting third grade were adapted into the TV episode "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn.")



  • This book is the first appearance of Muffy Crosswire and the third grade teachers, Mr. Ratburn and Miss Sweetwater.
  • On the beginning page, while Arthur was carrying a Bionic Bunny lunchbox, Francine was carrying a Rat Woman lunchbox, since Arthur is a fan of Bionic Bunny and Francine is a fan of Rat Woman. However, the Rat Woman series has since dissolved in the later books and is never mentioned again.
  • Unlike other Arthur books, Francine had the starring role instead of Arthur.
  • This book has the events occur at the beginning of Arthur's third grade year. In the TV episode, the events occur during Arthur's second grade year.