Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BELLA AND BEAN by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

I first heard about the book BELLA &BEAN when I read Kristine's interview of Kathi Appelt on Best Book I Have Not Read. In the interview, Kathi Appelt said, " I love Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s new Bella and Bean, which I’ve been carrying around and hugging. Don’t you love it when you love a book so much you just want to hug it?" I knew I had to have it.

I love all of Rebecca Kai Dotlich's work and was thrilled to see this new picture book from her. A picture book about being a poet and being a friend. What could be better. The beginning of the book reads like this:

"Bella lived in an old brick house with white shutters, just up the hill from Spoon Pond. Every day she wrote poetry at a small desk beneath a small window, shaded by a canopy the color of plums."

Even if I didn't see the possibilities is sharing this book with writers in a Writing Workshop, I would love this book. Bella and Bean are great characters. Characters who have personality right away in the book. Very believable characters and friends. Two girls you would want to hang out with.

The illustrations in the book are perfect. The cover is pink and will definitely be noticed by Fancy Nancy fans. The liveliness of the illustrations are a perfect fit for the story.

The messages about friendship and writing will make for great conversations. Finding topics to write about, finding time to write, loving words, paying attention to the world around you are all part of this story.

And, the ending is wonderful. Love the ending.

This book is sweet on one hand, yet carries powerful messages about friendship and writing too. So many levels to enter. So many possibilities for students.

I agree with Kathi Appelt--a book I want to hug. Anyone who has seen me this weekend, knows that I have been carrying this book around with me, making anyone I see read it. So far, I have shared it with several friends at the Reading Recovery conference and I intend to carry it around for a few more days to share. It is one of those books that is too good not to share with everyone you see.

(I just realized that Rebecca Kai Dotlich will be at a conference at Purdue this summer that I'll be attending. I may have to go a day early to hear her keynote. How could I pass that up?)


  1. OK, I'm seriously considering not reading your blog anymore. I cannot afford all these new books!! And I really NEED this one! More than groceries!!! Or new shoes for my boys!

  2. Huzzah, huzzah! Rebecca's Bella & Bean is so sensational it can also be used as a bed-warmer, a pacifier or a dream machine. B&B should be a vade mecum for the wee set. It's one of those stories you will remember as you dotter into the twilight. Brava, Rebecca!

  3. Vade mecum? Say huh? Pat: Is that like...keeping a Pepto Bismol tablet in your back pocket?

    I nominate BELLA AND BEAN to be the new FROG AND TOAD!


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