Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Green as a Bean

Green as a Bean

Spring 2007 Picture Books
Ages: Infant
Author: Karla Kuskin
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai
ISBN: 978-0-06-075332-0
Hardcover Price: $16.99
If you could be red, "would you be a car / that races the wind / or jam in a jar"? Or if you were loud, would you be thunder, or a howling hound, or the pounding sea? Karla Kuskin poses these questions and many others in her charming picture book Green as a Bean, a new edition of a book she first published in 1960. Here, children are invited to use their imaginations to put themselves in different scenarios. Kuskin's simple rhythmic text makes it a natural bedtime story, but the questions themselves also make this an ideal book for sparking discussion, whether with individual children or in a classroom setting. The bright, rich illustrations by Melissa Iwai perfectly capture Kuskin's fanciful situations. For instance, a child imagining himself as a square becomes a giant wooden building block, while "fierce" children join the tigers in a circus wagon and ride dragons through the clouds. A wonderful addition to homes and schools libraries.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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