Bean Soup Book Poster Image

Bean Soup



A dog and cat become friends.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that we found no objectionable content in this book. Curt, forced, two-word sentences won't encourage children to read along, but the relationship between a dog and a cat is appealing and becomes apparent through the obvious but charming illustrations.

What's the story?

Readers unfamiliar with this pair of pets will be surprised to learn that Bean and Soup are the names of two animals, rather than things to eat. The two-word (subject-preposition) sentences describe the game of chase between a cat and a dog. Soup the dog is eventually exiled from the house, but his stalwart feline pal joins him.

This unusual pair of friends enjoys a game of chase around the sofa, on the bookcase, and through the cat's bed until Soup the dog is disciplined and sent outdoors. Fortunately, Bean the cat is a good enough friend to follow behind. The two then curl up together for a nap, and the peaceful expressions of the slumbering Bean and Soup punctuate a pleasant ending.

Is it any good?


It is always pleasing to see nature's enemies wind up as friends, and this is the charming story line behind BEAN SOUP. Although Sarah Hines-Stephens uses mostly two-word sentences to describe the characters' activities in her series of books about Bean, in this instance the sentences seem unfinished, and the text sounds forced and choppy.

However, the illustrator allows readers to make sense of the story through her depictions of the dog and cat at play and rest. This book introduces prepositions in a way children can understand them, but adults may need to call attention to illustration details for the story to make sense.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about unlikely friends. Why do you think Bean and Soup become friends? Do you think Soup would be friends with other cats, or Bean with other dogs?

Book details

Author:Sarah Hines-Stephens
Illustrator:Anna Grossnickle Hines
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Harcourt Brace
Publication date:January 1, 2000
Number of pages:18

This review of Bean Soup was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byMratedTeen July 8, 2009


What other families should know
Too much violence


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement