Review by Vincent Noot of "Franklin Bean"
The story starts out with a boy who just moved to a new house and is nervous about making friends and adjusting to his environment. I can relate, because the first time our family moved, I wasn’t too happy with the change either. I hated it. So for all the children who have a hard time adapting, I think this would be a book they can relate to. After a while, the main character finds a dog that can talk, with which he surprises his peers. The rest of the book is a compilation of adventures of him and his dog, like saving a fishermen. I guess you can compare this story with the phenomenon of an imaginary friend, or the bond between a child and a pet. In that way, a lot of children could relate to the main character, either because of the first or the second reason.
The expression “Cool beans” appears a lot as half English, half Spanish, namely, “Cool frijoles.” It might be hard to pronounce for some native English speakers, but with the growing population of native Spanish speakers in the US, I think many parents and children will be happy to find somewhat of a cross-cultural reference in the book.
A well-written book with many themes children would enjoy, like moving, coming to the rescue, talking animals, having a best friend, etc.