Why is Bean such a common name in the world of children's books? It's not like it is this common in real life!
All of the books pictured above are part of a series of books except Bella and Bean by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. This is a sweet picture book which certainly appeals to my pink-loving girls. It tells the story of two mice or rats, Bella, a moody poet and Bean, who is energetic and interrupts Bella's quiet constantly wanting her to join in some fun rather than composing. These two mismatched friends do influence each other though and by the end of the book they are writing a poem together. Lots of good vocabulary and lots to talk about especially in regards to friendship.
In the picture book series Zoe and Beans by father and daughter team Chloe and Mick Inkpen, Beans is a dog. Zoe and Beans do things that all preschoolers do but they also find themselves in adventures with pirates and on the moon which adds an element of creative play.
Beandog and Nugget by Cherise Mericle Harper is a series of easy graphic novels about two friends.
In The Ball, the first book in this series, Bean Dog and Nugget lose Bean Dog's shiny new ball in a bush. They dream up elaborate and silly ways to get it back while they argue about who is actually going to go and get it. Enter Superdog and Ninja Nugget for a hilarious ending that kids will love and relate to. Then in The Cookie the two think up ways to share the cookie. I am always looking for cartoon-style easy to read books for the library and these are perfect.
Ivy and Bean don't need an introduction. These two girls and their series of books are among the most borrowed early reader series in my library. Here Bean, short for Bernice is the tomboy, green- loving, anti-dress wearing half of the dynamic duo. Her friend Ivy is the more intellectual, quiet, pink-loving is the other half. In each of the ten books about them they cause much mischief and humour that 6 to 9 year old girls seem to really enjoy.
Beany is a character who is brought to life in a series of books written by Susan Wojciechowski. Book one of five, Beany (Not Beanhead) introduces Bernice Lorraine Sherwin-Hendricks, aka Beany, a girl with twenty-three freckles, a bossy best friend, and a tendency to worry over just about everything! Bean is based on Susan's daughter Mary and in each of the books Beany tackles school anxieties 'with grit and fortitude'. A good step up from Ivy and Bean!
Now for the three protagonists who have Bean as a surname!
Harriet Bean is a series of three books by Alexander McCall Smith. Harriet Bean, the heroine of each loves nothing more than a good mystery so together with her five extraordinary aunts (Veronica, Harmonica, Majolica, and twins Japonica and Thessalonika), she is always ready to take on a new case.
The Clarice Bean series is a mixture of picture books and novels. The picture books are popular in my library but the chapter books are beyond the majority of my eight year olds. Lauren Child's wit is sophisticated, but like the other heroines listed above Clarice also has childhood worries, has to deal with unwanted changes, family and sibling issues and finding friendships.
Willa Bean is a lovable curly-haired cupid. She is very different from other cupids with her 'milli-bajillion' freckles, crazy mess of hair and purple wings. She attends the Cupid Academy and lives on Nimbus. There are five books in the Little Wings series about Willa Bean and they are easier to read than Jill Murphy's Worst Witch series and deal with similar school and friend problems.