Frank and Bean is a clever early chapter book written by Jamie Michalak and illustrated by Bob Kolar. This book was a huge hit with my 2nd and 3rd grade students. They had a blast getting to know both Frank and Bean. Thank you Candlewick Press for sending us the book for review. All opinions are our own.
My students thought the characters were “super funny” and enjoyed that they were so different. They loved looking at Bob’s pictures and how he captured their personalities so well. Many related to either being a Frank or being a Bean. We discussed some themes or morals we can take away from the story. Then the kids had some questions for Jamie……
And Now…..Questions from the Kids:
How did you come up with this idea?
It started with the idea of two picnic food friends named Frank and Bean. I first had the idea when my sons were in kindergarten and second grade. My youngest son, who’s chatty and loud, was obsessed with RVs, jelly donut holes, and playing the drums — just like Bean. My oldest, on the other hand, was more like Frank. He preferred walks in the woods, soft jazz, and yoga. So I kind of lived with my characters!
Why did you make Bean so loud?
If you’ve ever been on a long car ride with my youngest son, you’d know why! But I also wanted Bean to show readers how difficult it can be to find your own story or words in a loud and busy (and screen-filled) world. Frank shows Bean how to be quiet to hear the words within him.
It’s okay to be quiet — and even bored. That’s when your imagination really comes to life.
We discussed that 2 themes in the book were don’t be afraid to share things and don’t be afraid to be quiet or silly if you are, why did you choose to put these themes in the book?
I think they’re themes kids can relate with. For some, sharing what they wrote can be scary. Especially if you’re a quiet hot dog who’s used to being alone. Bean isn’t afraid to be his silly self — but he is scared of the night’s noises. But the thing about good friends is that they can help each other get over fears — and together make something special. Like a song about jelly donut holes, for example.
Will this become a series? We’d like a book 2!
Aw, thanks! There is a book 2! It’s called FRANK AND BEAN: THE FOOD TRUCK WAR. Bean decides to get a food truck and compete in the forest’s Food Truck Friday contest. But to win, he must beat the scary reigning champ, Mad Dog. Luckily, Frank is there to lend a hand — and make up a new song.
Teacher Question- Why did you make it an early chapter book reader? Did it ever start in a different format?
Early readers are my favorite format to write and to read. James Marshall’s books are the best! But yes, FRANK AND BEAN began as a picture book, until Bean demanded more room to express himself.
And finally thank you for giving us a book that reminded us to not be afraid to be ourselves!!
Thank YOU, smart human beans, for the excellent questions! Here’s to all the stories YOU’ll write this year! 🙂
Thank you for having us on the Frank and Bean Blog Tour. Check out the other places Frank and Bean have been and will be soon!