- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Lexile Measure: AD520L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (February 10, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0689856164
- ISBN-13: 978-0689856167
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,187,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bella & Bean Hardcover – February 10, 2009
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From 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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Little Bella is a poetry-writing rat. Bean is a fashion-conscious rat. It’s hard to see how they can be best friends when one wants to think about rivers and moons, and the other wants to think about hats. Words like flow, gurgle, and silver are put down on Bella’s pages of poems, but even as she demands peace and quiet to write, she knows she’s missing out on fun with her friend. But Bean’s not one to hold a grudge, and when invited by Bella to sit under the stars and listen to poems, she’s happy to oblige—and thrilled when one of the verses is about her. The story could be a tad shorter and the art might have had a few more amusing details, but this rodent duo is a good example of how opposites attract and can improve each other’s lives. The artwork uses rich shades of gold, teal, and sea green as backgrounds for the very personable rats. A nice starting point for a discussion of friendship.
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But discovering this with my granddaughter made up for my loss in the classroom.
She insisted we make Bella and Bean a house and of course I did. She played for hours with her imaginary B&B and I got to observe the beauty of a child at play inspired by wonderful literature. I loved listening in to her sweet little voice exclaim, "Bean, I can't come now...I'm writing poetry!" How special to watch this new door into the world of poetry be opened for her.
This book is an excellent mentor text for any poetry unit and a lovely warm story of friendship to share with a child on your lap.
Off now to discover more stories by Rebecca Kai Dotlich! I don't want to miss another one!
The pictures are beautiful and the story is delightful! It is also the perfect introduction to poetry and figurative language.
we got this book from the library and then purchased it as a gift for a 6 year old girl for her birthday.