Friday, March 20, 2020

Not a Bean

Not a Bean 
by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez; illus. by Laura Gonzalez
32 pages; ages 3-7
Charlesbridge, 2019 

theme: nature, caterpillars, plants

Next to the arroyo a seedpod grows on the yerba de la fleche, a desert shrub.

This is no ordinary seedpod, for when it hardens and falls to the ground it begins to jump. It rocks and rolls right into the shade. That’s because there’s a caterpillar inside – a caterpillar that doesn’t want to get too hot

What I like about this book: It’s a counting book! As the jumping bean moves through the landscape, it passes two saguaros, three snakes, four coyotes. But wait! it gets better porque algunas palabras son españolas. So it’s partly a language book. Hay dos saguaros, cuatro coyotes… and, after a bit of not-a-bean adventure, siete amigos who play a traditional bean game. And it’s very much a nature book about the life of a caterpillar that lives inside this special seed.

I also like the back matter, where author Claudia Martinez provides a glossary of words in Spanish, a counting lesson, and more information on the jumping bean moths. And Laura Gonzalez's illustrations which bring the desert to life.

Beyond the Books:

Get a hold of some jumping beans (maybe you can find them in a toy store) and try a couple experiments. Shine a light on one part of a plate and create shade on another. Where do the beans go? What if you put a hot water bottle under half of a plate? Or put an ice pack under it?

What happens to jumping beans when no one is watching? Here’s one videographer’s imaginative take.

Learn to count to ten in Spanish. Here’s a fun kid’s song to help you along.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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