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The Cool Bean

Last updated Monday, August 31, 2020

Author: Jory John
Illustrator: Pete Oswald
Date of Publication: 2019
ISBN: 0062954520
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2020

Synopsis: Everyone knows the cool beans. They’re sooooo cool. And then there’s the uncool has-bean . . . Always on the sidelines, one bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd—until one day the cool beans show him how it’s done.

Note to readers:
•  Note the puns and funny details in the illustrations.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Are there cool kids in your school or community?
•  What do you think makes someone “cool”? Is it something they wear or something they do? W
•  hat kinds of things do you and your friends like to wear? What do you like to do for fun?


•  Swagger: To walk or act with lots of confidence
•  Common: Ordinary or normal
•  Loafers: A type of low, flat shoes

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  In the beginning of the story, why didn’t the main character hang out with the cool beans anymore?
•  How did the cool beans show the main character that they were still friends?
•  How are you or someone you know a “cool bean”?

Craft ideas:
•  The kids can make their own Cool Beans. All they need is paper, pencil, crayons or markers and scissors. Car optional. The kids can make the beans from the book or what they think their friends/family would look like as cool beans. More important what would they look like as a cool bean.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Show us your “swagger”walk!
•  Show us what makes you a “cool bean”

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!