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Bella & Bean    by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Aileen Leijten order for
Bella & Bean
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Lindsey Freitas

In this sweet and charmingly illustrated story, Bella and Bean are two mice who are best friends. The day dawns and Bella is ready to spend it sitting at her small desk doing what she loves best - writing poetry. Bean, however, has other plans. She wants to go for a walk, to enjoy the outdoors!

All through the day Bean pokes her head through the window of Bella's little brick house and tries to get Bella's attention by pointing out her new hat, showing off her cute toes, and telling Bella that if she wants to think about poetry and words she should think of the word Bean. Bean is incredibly cute and I couldn't help but want to scamper off to play with her - but Bella won't be moved from her poems, and is quite grumpy about Bean's interruptions.

When the day is at an end and the stars come out to play, the two best friends come together and are able to exult in the beauty of the evening while putting together some of the sweetest friendship poems I've ever read in a children's book.

'My friend is a star,
My friend is a rose,
My best friend Bean
Has the cutest toes.

Bella & Bean is heartwarming, a pleasure to read aloud. Bean's antics made me smile, and I enjoyed seeing how Bella created her beautiful poems. I think this story could be very encouraging for young ones when it comes to writing and poetry - it makes you see the fun side. For instance, Bella came up with a poem about the moon by writing down words that reminded her of the moon - 'white, round, silver, and bright' - then the poem sort of flowed from there.

Recommended for ages 4-8, Bella & Bean is a children's book that is a delight for parents as well as their little ones.

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