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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Button and Bean are best friends. It doesn’t matter that Button is a round shape and has two holes, while Bean is elongated and bouncy. They don’t care about their differing looks; they just enjoy each other’s company. They do everything together and, even though they have the occasional disagreement, they always make up and enjoy another round of adventures together. On a visit to the zoo, they decided to eat lunch in a restaurant. The waiter mistakes Bean for food and takes him to the Chef, while Button calls on all his button friends to help him save Bean. It’s a rowdy, laughter-intense confrontation, one you wouldn’t expect to see in a restaurant.
Julian Hilton’s picture book story, The Button and the Bean: A big, bold, rhyming picture book adventure about best friends, is a fun adventure involving two unlikely friends. Told in rhyming verse, this little gem of a story will have readers young and old chuckling along and cheering on the two friends. It might be a fun read, but there’s also a deep message in this story: differences don’t matter, friendship does. With bright, colorful, and almost playful illustrations, this story moves along at a good pace as the two friends share their favorite togetherness times. This is a great learning-to-read story, too, as it focuses on words beginning with the letter ‘B.’ Young readers will definitely learn to quickly recognize the words (and names) Button and Bean. There are also lots of action illustrations with the words wrapped around images for added effect. At the end of the book are some interactive activities for young readers, like finding all the highlighted ‘B’s and the one ‘B’ that isn’t highlighted (I think I’ve found it). There are lots of fun ‘B’ words in this story, some I’ve never heard before, like ‘Boofhead.’ Lots of fun and adventure in this little book!