IN BEANER'S BACKYARD by Brandon Beebe Graves

IN BEANER'S BACKYARD

written and illustrated by

KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut picture book about a boy with a big imagination.

Graves wrote this book, an homage to playing in the backyard, for the children he works with at the Ithaca, NY–based Franziska Racker Centers for people with special needs. Each page features a verse about young Beaner (Brandon’s nickname at the Centers) and the wonders that he discovers in his own backyard. A few of the delights include: “I climb up to where / the view is the best. / When I get near the top, / I find a bird’s nest”; “When the weather gets hot, / I’ve got it made. / I kick back, relax / and nap in the shade”; and “As the weather gets cold / and the wind begins to blow, / I like hanging out in my fort / made of snow.” Each line gets its own page, with bright, full-page illustrations depicting the cartoonish Beaner in lush outdoor scenes. The images of Beaner tend to be exaggerated, highlighting his huge eyes and pointy hair, but the landscapes are lovely, featuring bright, deep colors that shine from the pages. The illustrations also capture natural details, such as branches and leaves, quite well. At the story’s end, Beaner wakes up, and readers see an urban skyline outside his window, revealing that he’s actually a city kid dreaming of a backyard—a theme that will certainly resonate with other city kids. The book’s afterword explains that Graves published the book shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Now a cancer survivor, the author writes that he hopes to publish other inspiring children’s stories like this one. This pleasant book is also short and easy to read, making it a good choice for early readers.

An imaginative backyard jaunt.

Pub Date: May 4th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1468595499
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:




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