Bella & Bean

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Overview

Bella wants to write poems.

Bean wants to go for a walk.

Bella wants to write poems.

Bean wants Bella to look at her cute toes.

Could these two best friends be more different? But as Bean's attempt to coax Bella away from her notepad become ever more over the top, Bella finds her poetry taking unexpected ...

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Overview

Bella wants to write poems.

Bean wants to go for a walk.

Bella wants to write poems.

Bean wants Bella to look at her cute toes.

Could these two best friends be more different? But as Bean's attempt to coax Bella away from her notepad become ever more over the top, Bella finds her poetry taking unexpected twists.

You might be a Bella or you could be a Bean - either way, this sweet, clever tale will remind you there is perfect poetry to mismatched friends.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bella is a moody, obsessed poet: "Bonnets, daisies, windows, toes-/ Secrets hide in sky, in rose," she writes. Her best friend (and fellow mouse), Bean, is an impulsive bundle of energy, eager to show off her new striped stocking cap embellished with two daisies, and annoying Bella with her interruptions. What starts off looking like a tale of mismatched friends turns out to be, instead, a splendidly accessible exploration of the poetic process as Bella finds Bean's words seeping into her work. Leitjen (Hugging Hour!, reviewed above) draws readers in immediately with her offbeat whimsy. Bella, for example, is first glimpsed through the window of her house, a fairytale concoction of tiny bricks, shingles and turrets nestled among the roots of a tree, with paper lanterns festooned just beyond. Letters, words and images dance about the final pages as the two friends together compose a poem that proclaims their eternal bond. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

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Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Bella and Bean are best friends, but they are very different. Serious Bella spends her days writing poetry. When Bean comes over to show off her new hat, Bella says she has no time for that. She is inspired to write a poem. All day, as Bean stops by to get her attention, Bella rebuffs her as her mind creates poems; still, she never forgets Bean. When the sun sets and "the sky pour[s] stars like sugar," Bella calls Bean on the phone to tell her friend she is thinking of her. She asks Bean to meet her at the pond. There, they share the magic of words and poetry, writing joyfully together. The poem they write is as lovely as their friendship. Graphite pencil drawings portray the delicacy of the friendship with profound good humor. Photoshop's contribution of a range of pastel colors reinforces the fantasy of the neatly-dressed anthropomorphic mice in their peaceful settings. The endpages show bright floral in front and starry dark in back to generate the mood. Bella's seriousness is balanced by the friends' playfulness together in this light-hearted reminder that friends can be quite different from each other. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Bella, a poet, and Bean, a creative busybody, are best friends. Bean constantly interrupts Bella from "thinking of words" and composing poems, demanding that Bella look at her new hat and cute toes or help her plant a bush. "My," says Bean, "Aren't we grumpy." Bean pesters Bella to leave her writing, but Bella resists until evening, when she begins to write about her friend. There are fine examples of metaphor, simile and wordplay scattered throughout: "The sky poured stars like sugar." Eventually the twin themes of poetry and friendship unite as Bella and Bean collaborate on "a poem about us." The two mice are wholly goofy-looking, with skinny legs and tails, thick whiskers and prominent teeth, and their personalities come across as stubborn and unappealing. The lessons about the process of writing and the compromises and joys of friendship overwhelm the slight story. Despite some lovely images and language play, the story doesn't quite succeed. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689856167
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,381,337
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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