JODY'S BEANS by Malachy Doyle


Age Range: 3 - 6
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This smart little story from Doyle, about growing a tepee of runner beans, can be extended to take in the big canvas—life itself—but its charm resides in the focus on a singular natural event. Jody and her grandfather prepare a patch of earth for some bean seeds. He comes back for intermittent visits, but it is up to Jody to tend the beans and report back to him by phone. Granda offers a measure of advice, but doesn’t pile on the directions, allowing Jody to exercise her powers of observation and gathering experience to get it right. Her attentiveness leads to great pleasure in the growth of the vines, the red flowers, the beans themselves (“ ‘Oh,’ said Jody. ‘I didn’t know we were going to eat them’ “). Meanwhile, Jody’s mother is growing larger with pregnancy, but that subplot resides mostly in the illustrations. Come autumn, the big beans on the top of the tepee yield a surprise. The story resembles a fine reduction sauce, as Doyle’s imagery and newcomer Allibone’s delicate, framed watercolors yield a rich, concentrated delight. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7636-0687-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1999