Back when I was in nursery and stumbling over words, my school started the weekly library visits. They involved parents coming over in the last hour before home time and collecting up children from their respective sections and going to the library. Over there, parents and students would jointly select books to read and borrow for a week.
I don’t remember much of my first visit, I was four, but what does come back is the whole week which I spent practically memorizing the entire book about a child learning how to cook. I read that book more than two dozen of times. I was so ecstatic on finally being able to borrow a book and have it all for myself for a week. Naturally, you could say that I had fallen in love and developed an insatiable appetite for books.
Children’s books hold a special place in my heart; they are a way to reconnect with my childhood and more so ever because books for such age are so, so less in quantity or extremely expensive that they never are much available to the general populace.
So when a fellow blogger friend of mine put up a book written by her for kids aging from 2-4 years on Goodreads, I was over the moon with joy. I immediately asked for a preview and to my utter delight she sent a soft copy to me after a few days.
Who Will Be The Next Jelly Bean King by Maryam Mirza, is a book with quirky poetry and vibrant colors. It automatically took me back to my kindergarten phase when such books were read aloud by our teachers in order to inspire us to write poems.
The story starts with Jelly Bean Kingdom stuck in gloom and despair. Its king is no more, and the rest of the Jelly Beans don’t know who to select as his successor.
Obviously, we see some sneaky and sleazy jelly beans taking a go to the throne but the public shuns them immediately with justifications like, being vain or rude or even bossy. All the while, subtly teaching its young readers of the characteristics one should never adopt.
The book is short enough to hold a child’s attention, and precise to make him or her understand what behavior isn’t liked at all or hurts other people. The illustrations are captivating, some made me laugh out loud.
Here’s what I loved the most about this book:
- The poetry: indignant words from the public against the unworthy jelly beans which put them right into their place. Especially if the contestants were lying.
- The price: Immediately the government schools came into my mind. It can actually be bought in bulk and lent to children on weekly basis. You can find the book on Amazon over here.
When I got done reading, my cousin also aged four, instantly came into my mind. She loves getting involved in Ludo with us grownups, but tragically confuses the colors. So, red discs are being moved instead of yellow which makes it annoying and comical at the same time. I have a good mind of gifting this book with some jelly bean packets to her on her birthday!