3 out of 4 stars
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Beans...Finding My Way Home is a children's book written by Debi Brown and illustrated by Katherine Kapsalis.
Beans is a cute, spotted dog. It is Saturday morning, and Beans is looking forward to going to the pet store with his owner, who is referred to as Mommy. What starts out as a seemingly perfect day takes an unfortunate turn when Beans becomes lost and, as the title informs us, must find his way home.
This story is written in third person from Bean's perspective. The book opens with the narrator informing the reader that Beans is excited. Throughout the tale, we are told how Beans is feeling and even what he is directly thinking. Particularly when Beans is lost, his thoughts appear in quotation marks. Beans smiles, predicts future events based on past experience, and has a favorite color. He is a canine character who is fully aware and the author does a fantastic job of making him real and personal to the reader. This was my favorite aspect of the book.
When I was considering reviewing this book, I found the cover of the book off-putting. It was a hand-drawn picture appearing to have been colored with crayons and/or colored pencils. There was nothing professional about it. Upon further investigation, I learned that the book was illustrated by the author's niece who was 11 years old at the time. This made more sense, but I was still hesitant. However, when I started reading, reaching page 3 was a turning point for me. As they are walking, Beans looks back at his owner with an expression of genuine affection that warmed my heart. Each page features an illustration with a few sentences underneath that match the picture.
In terms of the storyline, I almost forgot the supposed need for conflict in order to have a plot because I was so absorbed in the sweet and innocent world that the author, through the character Beans, was inviting the reader into. The only criticism I have in this regard is that the way in which Beans becomes lost seemed a bit contrived. That was my least favorite part of the book.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I took off a star because I found that the scene in which Beans gets lost was forced and unconvincing. Besides that, this book was a fun journey that packed a lot of heart into a short amount of space. I would recommend this book to dog lovers of any age. If you're strictly into cats, then move right along.
Beans...Finding My Way Home
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