Not a Bean

Not a Bean

  • 1699

Coming November 5, 2019. Preorder now!

By: Claudia Guadalupe Martínez / Illustrated by: Laura Gonzalez

A Mexican jumping bean isn't a bean at all. It's a fascinating home and food source for a special kind of caterpillar!

With Spanish vocabulary and a clever counting concept, this poetic story shares the life cycle of a Mexican jumping bean. This curious jumping insect is actually a seedpod from a shrub called yerba de la flecha, into which a caterpillar burrows, living inside the pod until it builds a cocoon and breaks out as a moth. Perfect for preschoolers and prereaders, this creative picture book explores the Mexican jumping bean's daily life and eventual transformation and escape from the pod.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, author

Claudia Guadalupe Martínez grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives with her husband and 3 children in Chicago.

Read more about Claudia.

Laura Gonzalez, illustrator

Read more about Laura.

Awards & Honors:

Coming Soon!

Editorial Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Martínez reveals the hidden secrets of the legendary Mexican jumping beans in her picture-book debut. As the title asserts, the jumping bean is "not a bean" but the seed pod of a desert plant known as the yerba de la flecha, which hides a secret stowaway. A female moth has laid her eggs near the seed pods of the yerba plant, and when they hatch, the caterpillars crawl inside, using the seed pod for protection and sustenance before pupating and emerging as adult moths. As a seed-encased caterpillar jumps around the desert floor seeking shelter and safety, readers count along in Spanish while learning vocabulary related to the desert ecosystem: cascabeles (rattlesnakes) and arroyos (streams), for example. González's bright, friendly illustrations depict a vibrant desert teeming with life—far from the desolation often associated with its dry climate. "Siete amigos" also join the proceedings, depicted in varying shades of tan and peach, appearing to represent some of the diversity in skin tone among Mesoamerican peoples. Much like the seed pods' concealed cargo, this informational picture book packs plenty of facts and learning moments into a thoroughly entertaining package. Engaging and fun, as all learning should be.


Download the Cover


ISBN: 978-1-58089-815-7

ISBN: 978-1-63289-667-4 EPUB

ISBN: 978-1-63289-668-1 PDF

For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 3–7
Page count: 32
11 x 8 1/2

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
Cincuenta en la cebra: Contando con los animales/Fifty on the Zebra: Counting With the Animals
Bugs for Lunch/Insectos para el almuerzo