Thursday, April 23, 2020

Review - The Cool Bean

The Cool Bean
by Jory John
illustrated by Pete Oswald
Date: 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Everyone knows the cool beans. They’re sooooo cool.

And then there’s the uncool has-bean . . .

Always on the sidelines, one bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd—until one day the cool beans show him how it’s done.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Having enjoyed The Bad Seed and The Good Egg, I of course wanted to take a look at The Cool Bean, the latest food-based offering from Jory John and Pete Oswald.

It's a cute story about a bean (a garbanzo, if I'm not mistaken) who thinks his friends have grown up and gotten cool, leaving him as little more than a "has-bean". But he soon realizes that his friends haven't changed in the ways that really matter, and maybe there's room in the pod for a bean who's cool in other ways.

I like the sophistication of the idea here. It isn't that the other beans get cool and snooty. It's all about the little chickpea and his perception of what's going on. His self-esteem takes a hit because he thinks he's not cool like the other beans. He isolates himself, rather than being ostracized by the others. So it's up to him to shift the way he looks at things for the story to come to its conclusion.

The illustrations are cute, just as they are in the other books in the series. I particularly like the bean's bowtie.

Overall, this is a fairly strong picture book about being yourself... and that's actually how you become a really cool bean.

Quotable moment:


Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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