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Book Reviews, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Early/Young Readers, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Aloud Suggestions


How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green BeansIn Martha’s family Tuesday nights mean green beans for dinner.  Martha hates green beans and refuses to eat them.  Every Tuesday her parents give her reasons why green beans are good and they she should, therefore, eat them.

“They are both wrong,” thought Martha.

“Green beans are bad.  Very bad.”

Martha is proven right when a band of very bad green beans–complete with tattoos, villainous handlebar moustaches and wearing cowboy boots invade the town.  They are on a mission of revenge: to capture anyone who has ever dared to eat even one green bean.  This, of course, includes Martha’s parents.  Martha courageously faces the meanest, scariest green bean of them all in order to save her parents.

Mark Fearing’s illustrations are colorful and quirky, reminiscent of the hilarious Skippyjon Jones series by Judith Schachner.  My 9-and 10-year-old and I enjoyed this picture book together.  In tone, style and humor it evokes for us one of our two favorite Charlie and Lola books (a series by the witty Lauren Child): I Will Never, Not Ever, Eat a Tomato and another beloved family favorite, Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming.

How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans uses unpatronizing language and engaging illustrations which impeccably complement the plot and inherent humor of the story.  Great for bedtime, naptime or as a read-aloud in a primary classroom, the delight of the story is Martha’s genuine determination in the face of the absurd.  This allows the story to flow easily and naturally–and so does the reader’s laughter.




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