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Summary: When King Limalot Bear named his daughter Belinda queen, most in the kingdom cheered. Not Mean Ol' Bean. He hatched a plot to get rid of her. Mean Ol' Bear would lure Belinda into the labyrinth, where she was sure to be lost forever. Lucky for the queen L. Joe Bean discovered the plot. But would a wise Pinto Bean be enough to save the queen? This rhyming picture book wraps life lessons about doing the right thing in a humorous story.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 3 to 7
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: Refreshing. Mean Ol' Bean is clearly a bully (in the classic fairy tale sense), but he doesn't overpower the story. The story is text-heavy, but there are several refrains about Mean Ol' Bean and his dreams that will keep young listeners involved. The illustrations are lovely and light, with enough activity to let kids explore the page. I also liked the activity pages at the end - I didn't pay a lot of attention to the breeze blowing away the flower petals, but the authors have a wind watcher activity so kids can understand that weather phenomenon.
Pros: Simple (well-done) rhyme and a clever story make this an enjoyable read for a variety of audiences.
Cons: None, really. You may need to explain that a labyrinth is synonym for "maze."
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is fun to read both as a fairy tale and as a story about creative problem solving.
Educational Themes: At the back of the book the authors provide pages for things to talk about after you read the book, as well as activities you can do to learn more about some of the concepts, like the wind, designing a maze, and synonyms. One easy one would be to let kids trace the maze's path on the the two pages that give you an overhead view of the full labyrinth.
Notes: The publicist representing the author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub® for review consideration because we provide an independent, unbiased profiles. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, life lessons, problem solving, adventure, rhyme
Date(s) Reviewed: February 2014
Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found at the time of this review. See reader feedback at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.