I’m not a fan of the cute, in general, as it all-too-often slips into cloying, but this pair of friends won me over.
Zoe and Beans: Where is Binky Boo?
by Chloe and Mick Inkpen
ISBN: 978 0 330 51839 0
Audience: ages 2 – 5 yrs
Zoe and Beans, her dog, are besties, and a cuter pair you’d be hard pressed to find. Zoe is not too impressed when Beans tries to take over her dolly, though. Ever since he lost his own stuffie, he’d refused to play with anything but Molly, and the doll was taking a beating – and getting a little stinky, too. A wash fixes that problem, but Beans still misses his Binky Boo. Of course, everything turns out fine, and the errant dog toy returns to the fold.
I enjoyed that both dog and child exhibit similar reactions to the changes in Molly, and they are totally believable. It’s also a fun twist on the familiar lost-toy-found drama that works, and a friendship story that forgoes sappiness – and I do love a good friend book. The drawings are only a slight departure from Inkpen’s well-known style (think Kipper), but just different enough to give this book a fresh feel and a slightly sassier look. I like it!
(Follow the further adventures of Zoe & Beans in Zoe and Beans: The Magic Hoop!, as well, in which a magic hoop transforms Beans over & over…)