If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be? Perhaps you’d like the ability to fly, or become invisible, or simply make your broccoli disappear without actually eating it. Sure, these superpowers would be useful … at times. But what about superpowers that are useful all the time, every day and in almost every situation?

Enter a handful of beans. Not just any beans, mind you. Really colorful ones. Colorful ones that come to life. Colorful ones that come to life and grant amazing superpowers to their lucky owner. If only that owner can decide which of the superpowers he wants most. Or so he thinks.

That’s the conundrum of birthday boy Joey when his grandpa gives him his very own bag of Bodacious Beans. “Each Bodacious Bean comes with its own superpower,” Grandpa explains to Joey. “They can’t fly or swim or turn invisible. They have a different sort of power.”

THE SEVEN MOST SUPER POWERS

In Joey and the Bodacious Beans (Weeva), Joe Swinger’s picture book for children ages 3 to 7, we meet the most super powers of them all — purpose, love, forgiveness, acceptance, empathy, courage and perseverance. But Joey struggles to decide which is the most powerful.

Is it most powerful to be able to find his dream and live his life’s purpose? But what good are dreams without someone you love to share them with? And how can you truly love someone if you can’t overcome any problems with that person and forgive them? How can you possibly forgive if you don’t accept people as they are, or have enough empathy to understand their point of view or how they feel? All of this takes a lot of courage — especially following your dreams. But even that only gets you so far — you need to have perseverance to accomplish everything you dream of doing and becoming and experiencing.

It’s as Grandpa says: “They are all powerful, Joey. But they are even more powerful together.” In the end, Joey realizes, he doesn’t really have to choose. He just needs to practice these superpowers every day, and each will help him become the most super version of himself he can be.

LIFE LESSONS TAUGHT IN WAYS YOUNG CHILDREN UNDERSTAND

Abstract concepts come to life thanks to the adorably goofy and apropos illustrations of each bean by John Joven. Swinger’s kid’s-eye-view explanations of each superpower are accompanied by examples that relate directly to common childhood experiences. It isn’t necessarily an easy task, but Swinger and Joven do so — and succeed — with ease, humor and heart.

The magical element of talking beans proves to be a powerful teaching tool for the aspects of emotional intelligence and self-mastery embodied in the seven core virtues at play in this book. There are even a series of discussion questions at the end to engage your child in fun conversations and reinforce key learnings.

And, really, anyone can benefit from these lessons — not just kids. To that end, I’ll leave you with some closing wisdom from the Bodacious Beans:

  • Purpose will guide your life as you follow your dreams.
  • Love is what you give to others and receive in return. 
  • Forgiveness allows you to let go of bad feelings and move toward happiness.
  • Acceptance allows us to live together and create space for people to be who they are. 
  • Empathy will always help you understand people’s feelings.
  • Courage will give you strength to overcome your fears.
  • Perseverance will keep you going when something is hard.

May these seven superpowers gift you and your child with everything needed for success, fulfillment and joy — with or without the blessings of magical beans.

Joey and the Bodacious Beans is available for purchase.


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Once homeless, Joe Swinger has risen as a leader in multiple Fortune 500 companies, in which he has developed hundreds of successful business leaders, while at the same time achieving extraordinary results as a pioneer in the authentic servant leadership movement. As an authority on Self-Mastery Leadership and as a motivational transformation specialist, Joe helps leaders, entrepreneurs and others working within corporate culture to create transformative and positive change. Joey and the Bodacious Beans is a children’s book adaptation of his “7 Essential Virtues for Incredible Success” as defined in his guidebook for adults, Awaken the Magic Within.

About John Joven:

John Joven grew up in Bogotá, Colombia and studied graphic design at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He still lives there and is fortunate enough to work in his home studio, which allows him to share his passion for drawing and painting with his two children while working on projects. His book illustration credits include titles from Usborne Publishing, Penguin Workshop, Grosset & Dunlap, Running Press, Macmillan and Red Chair Press, among many others. When not illustrating, he enjoys spending quality time with his children, playing soccer with his friends, watching movies and traveling. He has recently visited Argentina, Cuba, and Peru.