PPBF: Bea & Mr. Jones

Author/Illustrator: Amy Schwartz
Publisher: Harcourt, 1982
Themes: parent-child relationships, school, work

Opening:  “I’ve had it with Kindergarten!” Bea Jones said to her father as he was sitting down to breakfast. “I’ve had it with bean bag games! I’ve had it with clothespin games! I’ve had it with sitting on that dumb green rug and playing that dumb colored lollipop game! I’m ready for a change.”

Summary: (from my library catalog) Tired of kindergarten, Bea Jones trades “jobs” with her father, who works in an office.

I like this book because: At first glance, I somehow thought I might not like this one. The perspective on the cover gave me the heebie-jeebies! But I opened it and the simple but effective endpapers hooked me in – thank goodness. There are so many wonderful details like hidden artwork (kitchen calendar, bosses office) in the pencil illustrations, so many fun pattern clashes (see the image directly below!) I spent a lot of time looking for more on each page! It’s basically a Freaky Friday story (published 10yrs earlier) with a cuter ending! Try to find it – worth the effort!

Resources/activities: draw boxes or shapes of black and white patterns directly next to each other; have a chat with a parent or guardian about what it would be like to switch places; dress each other up as if you would!

For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE.

I’m also over at Beth Anderson’s blog today talking about how my forthcoming character-driven fictional picture book became “informational fiction” – with BACK MATTER!

12 thoughts on “PPBF: Bea & Mr. Jones

  1. Did you notice the cigar? This is an older book, but I read one recently (The Wanderer, I believe, which was originally published in the Netherlands, 2020) that shows a character (or 2) smoking.


  2. Lots of humour here! My favourite line is “In fact, Mr. Jones was rapidly becoming the teacher’s pet.” One wonders where this potential B story might have gone. 😉
    I like that the ending doesn’t wrap up the story in any neat & tidy way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What I like about this is there is so much you would never see in one of today’s picture books. I like the freaky feel, the adults, and the naughtiness.


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