The Cool Bean

The Cool Bean


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The “too-cool-for-school” third picture book from the #1 New York Times bestselling creators of The Bad Seed and The Good Egg, Jory John and Pete Oswald

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.

With equal measures of humor, wit, and charm, the #1 New York Times bestselling duo Jory John and Pete Oswald craft another incredible picture book, reminding us that it’s cooler to be kind.

Check out John and Oswald’s other books for children:

The Bad Seed

The Good Egg

That’s What Dinosaurs Do

Editorial Reviews


as character-driven, pun-filled, and hilariously illustrated as its predecessors.

Horn Book Magazine

Witty wordplay (“I was officially a has-bean”) and silly gags in the digital and watercolor illustrations (The Great Gatsbean, A Midsummer Night’s Bean, Leguma Beach) help downplay the didacticism and up the cool factor.


as character-driven, pun-filled, and hilariously illustrated as its predecessors.

School Library Journal

★ 01/01/2020

PreS-Gr 2—A bow tie–wearing chickpea attends school with a trio of really awesome beans. So awesome, that they are what most people would call "cool." All the beans used to be friends, but now they are seemingly too cool for the nerdy chickpea. Yet, the cool beans show that being kind and caring for others is the true way to demonstrate just how hip a person can be. The creative team behind The Bad Seed and The Good Egg deliver a comedic tale of trying to fit in among one's peers. The cool beans represent the archetypal popular kids in any school setting; they are able to play sports, rock out on a guitar, and even display the greatest art skills, making this story relatable to plenty of readers despite the picture book format. Additionally, the text is full of puns found in the tiny details on each page, which are sure to make older readers giggle, including "Leguma Beach" and "The Great Gatsbean." Younger readers will not miss out on the humor, as the illustrations are goofy and adorable. The chickpea's attempts to be cool fall flat, but after a couple mishaps, the other beans come to his aid. VERDICT This is a gentle, sweet story of how generosity and kindness are the true qualities to champion, and offers a great example for young readers and an important reminder for older readers. A strong addition to any collection.—Kaitlin Malixi, Kensington Health Sciences Academy, Philadelphia

Kirkus Reviews

A supposed "has-bean" shows that coolness has more to do with deeds than demeanor.

Offering further moral instruction in this leguminous cousin to The Bad Seed (2017) and The Good Egg (2019), Oswald portrays three beans—each a different species but all sporting boss shades, fly threads, and that requisite air of nonchalance—bringing the cool to streets, hallways, playgrounds, and Leguma Beach. Meanwhile, a fourth (a scraggly-haired chickpea), whose efforts to echo the look and the 'tude have fallen flat, takes on the role of nerdy narrator to recall "olden days" when they all hung out in the same pod. Still, despite rolling separate ways (nobody's fault: "That's just how it is sometimes. You spend less time together, even though you're not totally sure why"), when the uncool bean drops a lunch tray, skins a kid knee on the playground, or just needs a hint in class, one of the others is always on the scene toot suite. No biggie. And passing those casual acts of kindness forward? "Now that's cool." John's good-hearted text makes some hay with the bean puns while Oswald's pipe-stemmed limbs, googly eyes, and accessories give these anthropomorphic legumes lots of personality. As a fava to young audiences, pair with Jamie Michalak and Frank Kolar's Frank and Bean (2019) for a musical combination.

Cool beans indeed. (Picture book. 6-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062954527
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 10,151
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 530L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews