Book Review – Coolbean the Soybean

Joanna Schroeder

Ahhh…Spring is here and planting has begun and it’s a perfect time for kids to meet Coolbean. This week I read “Coolbean The Soybean,” by Shawn Conley, Ph.D. who is the state soybean specialist, aka agronomist, at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Who better to write a book about the life of a soybean from seed to seed.

Coolbean has a lot oCoolbean the Soybeanf friends including researchers and plant breeders and Haila, a farmer. He heads home with her and she plants him. Along the way we learn about the scientific method, making better soybeans, no till, soil health, planting, crop rotation, photosynthesis, precision agriculture technology, harvesting and more. The book includes cute illustrations, cool facts and fun information written in an easy to understand language for girls and boys grades 3-5. But the book taught me a few things so its fun for adults too. I really liked the “Do Something Cool” and “Think Like a Scientist” elements that provide, well, food for thought, above and beyond Coolbean’s journey. At the end of the book Coolbean takes a trip to his final destination but I won’t spill the soybeans….

This is a great book for the classroom for teachers who are teaching kids not only about agriculture, but science. The book includes some hands on activities as well as supplementary activities on coolbeanthesoybean.org. The activities would also be great fun for parents and children and for parents who homeschool their kids. Coolbean the Soybean is available on Amazon and there are volume discounts for purchases above 15 books. With planting underway, now is the perfect time to purchase the book and follow Coolbean’s journey throughout the growing season.

Agriculture Education, Agronomy, Book Review, Soybean