Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Review - Frank and Bean

Frank and Bean
by Jamie Michalak
illustrated by Bob Kolar
Date: 2019
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: illustrated chapter book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

When the introspective Frank meets the gregarious Bean, can they find a way to make beautiful music together? Dry wit and hilarious illustrations introduce a new unlikely pair.

Frank likes peace and quiet. He likes his tent, his pencil, and writing in his secret notebook. Bean likes noise. He likes his bus, his trumpet -- toot, toot! -- and making music. Loud music. But Bean is missing something: he does not have words. What will happen if Frank shares his words with Bean? With a laugh-out-loud narrative by Jamie Michalak, author of the Joe and Sparky series, and Bob Kolar's bright, graphic, comical illustrations, this fresh and funny story will go down easy for beginning readers and young listeners alike.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a weird one. At first, I didn't like it at all. Bean was annoying. But then... it grew on me. And now I think it's kind of fun.

Frank and Bean is a short, illustrated chapter book for kids about a couple of foodstuffs who are as different as they come. Frank likes peace and quiet so he can write in his secret notebook. Bean is LOUD. And messy. But he's parked his van near Frank's campsite, so Frank has to put up with him. Eventually, it comes out that Bean is looking for words for the songs he's written. Frank just might be able to help.

The silliness of anthropomorphized hot dogs and beans is amped up by the colourful pictures. They're suitably cute and complement the text well. The narrative itself is simple--it reads like it's aimed at the picture-book crowd--but well done and effective in telling the story.

After a rough start, this one kind of grew on me. It's not the best illustrated chapter book I've ever read, but it's a quick, entertaining read that'll leave you with a smile on your face.

Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing a digital ARC.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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