Some people say jelly beans don't grow on trees. Not this little boy - he believes in magic. He watches his jelly bean tree grow. He feasts on jelly beans and crowns himself the Jelly Bean King. A magical tale that will delight all ages.
The kids, my mum and I have a little project, just for fun, of trying to eat one million jelly beans (don't worry, we know it will take a while) thanks to a prior jelly bean themed book, so this was perfect for adding to our jelly bean quest. The first thing that struck me about this was the lovely cover, its vibrant and colourful bit it isn't over the top which is wonderful and the back, in contrast, has almost nothing on it at all, but again, this works well and it had me looking forward to what the book held within.
Reading to the kids, this story felt like something that had been plucked right out of our imaginations, I wouldn't think that there's many people who Dian, at least once, imagine a molly turning into some kind of magnificent fruiting tree. There's a good mixture of pages that switch between being a colour explosion and pages with lovely illustrations but a plain white background. Take the time with the kids and get them to search the pages for not only jellybeans, but jelly bean shapes all over the place meaning that even if the kids aren't in a listening mood, they still have plenty to do.
My eldest found the mention of the child being rudie nude up in his tree was the best bit for the book and when he was first flicking through the pages said it was the funniest picture in the book. My middle child decided, after much thought, that the slide was her favourite part and how much she would love one on our big tree. My youngest decided that when he invites his family to join him for food and drinks was the best part because he was caring about them.
This is a delightful book, it seems expensive at $29 but it is wonderfully done, both visually and story wise.
'My Magnificent Jelly Bean Tree' celebrates the imagination of a child. Who wouldn't want a jelly bean tree? What a fabulous idea! I really appreciate a book that encourages a child to think outside the realm of normality and use their imagination. This book simply oozes imagination. The image of the tree with the huge slide curling down makes me want to hop on it and squeal as I wind my way to the bottom.
I showed this book to my mother-in-law and she quickly commented on the perfect use of white space on the pages. I agreed with her too. Sometimes it is lovely to have brightly coloured illustrations filling the page and it is also lovely to create a calmer mood by using white space and softer colours in a book. A number of the illustrations are created within the shape of a jellybean. I hadn't noticed that at first, but when I took the time to really enjoy the illustrations, I thought it was such a lovely effect. In fact, there were several things I really liked about the illustrations. There is a page which has a pattern of lines which work around images, I thought that was really well done too. While a variety of colours are used, the colours are generally quite earthy rather than overly bright. Overall, I think that the illustrations are beautiful and offer a lovely selection of different styles, use of white space and contrast with detail and simplicity. These all tie together perfectly to offer a united front to the overall presentation of the book.
Miss Four thought that the reference to "rude nude" was so funny. At her age, anything to do with nudity and body parts is hilarious. This was done tastefully within the context of the story, while providing a perfect level of humour for her age group. There is a good sense of rhyme and rhythm to the text and I found that Miss Four and Mr Six enjoyed joining in with the end of each section of text. It was fun to predict what rhyming word would fit in with the story. This involved the children and ensured that they were fully engaged with the story. Although the jelly bean tree seemed like a perfect idea for a little child, he found that he wanted to share it with his family. This is a nice talking point to have with children when reading the book. It is a chance to discuss the fact that it is so much nicer to share special things and places with others.
The hard cover of the book gives a really nice feel and the pages are firm and crisp giving a sense of quality. I think that going for the hard cover in this book was a very good option as I think that it is one of those books that will be enjoyed over a long period of time and have many hands holding it and flicking through the pages. This is a charming book and I would recommend it to any child who loves to play with their imagination.
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