Little Bean

John Wallace, Author
John Wallace, Author HarperCollins Publishers $10.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-694-00853-7
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In this modest but disarming paper-over-board book, round-faced Little Bean is disappointed when her father, preparing for a business trip, is too busy to read to her. She soon discovers that he misses their time together at least as much as she does, and the ending finds them curled up together again with a new book. Little Bean, with pigtails standing straight up and little feet sticking out in classic toddler poses, is an irresistible heroine; her Daddy must indeed be devoted to his job to be able to turn her away. The rebuffed Little Bean demonstrates that she too can be busy, feeding her fish and playing and eating lunch; in a parallel sequence, her Daddy is depicted during his day, busy in meetings, writing and on the telephone. In these vignettes, Wallace intersperses lines of text with small pictures. His watercolors are as fresh and economical as his simple prose, and his use of broad expanses of white background throughout plays up their airy and untrammeled look. They clinch a perfectly satisfying book that fathers can read to their own Little Beans. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
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