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The Jelly Bean Experiment (Danny's Doodles #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  175 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Danny Cohen's new friend is 100% weird.

New to Danny's fourth grade class, Calvin Waffle has a knack for following his classmates around to collect data for his science experiments. He carries jelly beans everywhere, and claims his father is a spy. Danny isn't quite sure just what to make of this quirky newcomer until Calvin reluctantly agrees to help the baseball team. His
Paperback, 105 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (first published January 1st 2013)
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Rating details
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Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
A solid story for 3rd & 4th grade readers about friendship and getting along when we're different from each other.
Katie Fitzgerald
Danny, a fourth grader, has become the subject of his classmate, Calvin Waffle's jellybean experiment. One week, Calvin watches how Danny interacts with other people. The next week, Calvin has Danny start carrying around jellybeans to see how this will change these same interactions. Though the jelly beans cause some problems for Danny's mom when she does the laundry, and though Calvin is unquestionably a strange kid, by the time the experiment is over, the boys find that they have become friend ...more
Barb Middleton
Fourth grader, Danny is a good sport who agrees to be the subject of new kid Calvin Waffle's experiment, even though Calvin doesn't explain anything except that Danny has to carry a bunch of jellybeans around that he can't eat. Danny spills them and sends them through the wash at home but spends the week more or less carrying out the experiment unknowingly to humor Calvin. Calvin is quite odd compared to other kids dressing with pants that have one leg shorter than the other or wearing mismatche ...more
Pop Bop
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A Kind, Gentle, Low-Key Book

David Adler is the author of the Cam Jansen mysteries, which is a very popular series featuring a kid sleuth with a photographic memory. Those books are fine as basic introductory mysteries, but the characters and plots are very thin. The Danny's Doodles books, starting with this one, offer an entirely different experience and, to me, mark a major step up in class, style and substance by the author.

All of the kid characters are fourth grade classmates. The target read
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-the-boys
I am currently searching for a beginning chapter book to read with my oldest (6 years of age). Something like this seemed right to me for several reasons.

1.) It had a male lead character that I hoped would appeal to my son.
2.) It literally had Danny's doodles every other page to keep things interesting for my little man.
3.) It is supposedly geared toward a very young beginner audience. It was categorized as a 1st grade read by the library, though Danny (the main character) is in 4th grade.

Dorine White
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Story-
When Danny Cohen befriends the new kid at school, Calvin Waffle, he has no idea his life is about to change. Soon Calvin is following Danny around, taking notes in a journal and lurking outside Danny's classes. Danny thinks Calvin is weird, but he finds out just how weird when Calvin asks Danny to stuff his pockets with jellybeans for four days so Calvin can record the results of what happens.

Soon Danny is drawn into a strange friendship with Calvin, one that includes experiments and s
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I could not resist when offered a chance to review David A. Adler's new book.

For those of you who don't recognize his name, he's written a metric ton of books for kids. Most importantly for me, he wrote the Cam Jansen series. The Cam Jansen mysteries were basically one of two series I read when I was learning to read. I can remember checking them out of the library, one by one, figuring the words out and trying to solve the mystery along with Cam of the photographic memory. (I feel like Cam Jans
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ?????
Not sure what to think of this book, so I rated it right down the middle. Personally, I felt the story was attention deficit, starting topics and never really finishing them, the jelly beans--what was the whole purpose, did they really make people like you better, chewing gum in class and getting away with it, figuring out what the opposing pitcher would throw. They were all subplots and could have been good, but they never really got developed or resolved. I felt like this book just jumped from ...more
Sharon Tyler
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Danny's Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment by David A. Adler is the start of a new series from the author most will recognize from the Cam Jansen series. This book introduces fourth grader Danny Cohen and his new friend, who is 100% weird. Calvin Waffle like to follow his classmates around to collect data for science experiments and claims his father is a spy. Danny isn't quite sure just what to make of this quirky newcomer and his eagerness to thwart their strict teacher. But, with a report ass ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it liked it
David Adler’s Danny’s Doodles: The Jellybean Experiment is a cute, lower middle-grade read about friendship, acceptance, and the power of being weird. David Cohen’s new fourth grade classmate, Calvin Waffle, is different. Very different. Calvin gets Danny to participate in his “jellybean experiment”, by having Danny place jellybeans in all of his pockets and carry them around school all day, while Calvin takes mysterious notes. Calvin also claims that his absent father is a spy, but Danny’s not ...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
I read this to my kids and they really enjoyed it even though they are younger than the intended age range. Danny is a really nice boy that can't make head nor tails of his new, weird friend who's father may or may not be a spy. Danny goes along with Calvin's strange experiments and is nice to him even when everyone else gives him sideways glances. He also makes an effort on Calvin's behalf by inviting some kids to Calvin's party and by inviting him to the big baseball game. Danny is a good exam ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked the book, but the doodles less… I am not sure they add to the story. But without the doodles it would just be Danny: the Jelly Bean experiment, The Danny Series, which I kind of like. BUT, back to the story of Danny and Calvin. Two different 4th grade boys with two different ways of seeing things creates a good story about individuals being who they are and finding out this is a good thing. Kid relationship building = negotiating differences while figuring out who they are as individuals ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: j, not-graphic, life
While Danny is the narrator and his name is on the cover, the real star of this book is Danny's new friend Calvin Waffle. New to the school, Calvin is quite (and quietly) odd and takes an odd approach to making new friends, which he is definitely interested in having even though he is not at all concerned with "fitting in." The humorous and earnest story is about Danny learning to see past Calvin's oddities to appreciate the person behind them. While this premise could have been outrageously sil ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I won this book from Thank you so much! I read to my daughter every night and its usually a picture book. This is the first chapter book we shared. We really enjoyed this book. My daughter liked the doodles on each page. The characters are great. There are many opportunities for discussion with you kids in this book about what is proper to bring up in conversations, to being different, to science and math. You can extend certain parts of the book for many great ...more
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I was excited to read a new series by Adler. However, I was left wanting more. This reads like a book for 1st and 2nd graders, but with characters in the 4th grade using some larger vocabulary and exploring topics younger kids probably aren't interested in. So I guess it would be good for older kids who are struggling to read. The doodle part of the story is kind of cute but easily ignored. If you are looking for a Diary of a Wimpy Kid for younger grades (like I was), this isn't it. That being s ...more
Megan Marvel
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
This may be my least favorite type of literature: children's chapter books. Often the plot is very poor and the author writes as if children can't understand anything (Adler takes this stance). Parents, siblings, and kids are all naive under Adler's representation. Suddenly everything needs a definition and one thing (eg. seem of wallpaper) turns into another (eg. people aren't as they seem). The mother calls strawberry ice cream "pink ice cream" and chocolate butter cream cake "brown-yellow cak ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
Nov 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Danny makes nice with new kid Calvin Waffle and soon finds himself the subject of Calvin’s mysterious experiment. Day one is being followed by a lurking Calvin while he takes notes in his notebook. Day two is having jelly beans stuffed in his pockets by Calvin who won’t tell him anything about the experiment. As the experiment continues Danny finds himself forming a strange friendship with Calvin, and the two have fun together, especially with science and statistics.

A great story of friendship
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this book to my 7 year old son. I disliked the writing style of this book. The sentences were all very short and choppy. It almost read like an advanced Dick and Jane book. Also, it did not make a good read aloud book because the dialogue wasn't clear enough about who was talking. Also, there were thoughts intermixed in the dialogue that was defined by nothing more than italics and a lack of quotation marks. So when just listening to the book and not reading it, you could not tell what wa ...more
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it
2-3rd grade boys with an interest in science, or who are looking like books with illustrations throughout a la wimpy kid will enjoy this book. The story of a new boy who is very odd, but with enough quirkiness to be of interest to Danny, his classmate, and how unlikely friendship are sometimes the best. Danny's written as a bit too insightful and earnest for a boy his age, Calvin's mother too over the top, but the story works. I also had, as other reviewers did, a problem with the choppiness of ...more
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very delightful book that young readers are sure to enjoy. This book shows that you can be friends with just about anyone, whether you have something in common or not. Danny is in the fourth grade and loves baseball. Calvin loves experiments. Bring the two together and you get the “Jelly Bean Experiment”. This is the first book that I have read by David A Adler, and I have to say it will not be the last. This book was nothing short of excellent and have read it to my four year old who also lov ...more
Sara Grochowski
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This new book from the author of the beloved Cam Jensen series is sure to win over young and reluctant readers with its accessible combination of graphic and textual elements. DANNY'S DOODLES is great for readers making the transition from higher level Easy Reader books to full length novels, with a format and feel similar to the DIARY OF WIMPY KID books. A quirky story about acceptance, individuality, and friendship, Danny and his new friend Calvin Waffle are sure to gain a devoted following of ...more
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Danny's Doodles is a fun, light-hearted book for readers approximately age 7 and up. The story of Danny's new weird friend Calvin is both interesting and goofy in a good way. There's plenty of school antics and clever wordplay, but the drawings were a huge distraction for me. Maybe this is trying a little too hard to be like the Wimpy Kid books. I know part of the selling point is in the doodles in the title, but I didn't think they really looked like the doodles of a kid. Still I'd recommend th ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I did not love this book; although I appreciate the “it’s okay to be different” message, I thought the book didn't really do a good job of resolving it. Having Calvin watch the pitcher in order to help the other team win was a bit silly – they only liked him because he helped them win! I do think Danny was a genuine character who liked Calvin but the rest felt very forced. I also think this book tries to bring up some tough issues (mental instability etc.) but almost makes them a joke. Younger c ...more
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a new chapter book series for 2-3rd graders: boys and girls. It's written by the Cam Jansen author, David Adler.

I thought it was a shade above standard early chapter books because it has an actual plot and interesting storyline and characters.

One of the best things about it is that it teaches science principles in a way that is not heavy-handed so I could see it being used in the STEM curriculum.

The story nicely sets up the series for further adventures with Danny, Calv
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
In Danny's Doodles - the Jelly Bean Experiment by David Adler you get to meet Danny Cohen and his friend, Calvin Waffle. Along with his interesting last name, Calvin does some pretty interesting and unusual things. Danny calls him 100% weird and Calvin is okay with that. Calvin is an observer - he notices things that you and I wouldn't because he watches and studies . He might be a little different, but that makes him interesting and fun to be around. While you're reading The Jelly Bean Experime ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-reader
This is an adorable book about friendship, even when your friend is "100% weird". Calvin Waffle is a sort of strange kid who enjoys doing experiments. Danny Cohen likes baseball and hanging out with his friends. Calvin asks Danny to carry around jelly beans in his pocket for a week, but he can't tell him why. Shenanigans ensue. It's a fun book with several doodles that's sure to get reluctant readers flipping the pages.
Books Kids Like
I read this because it was written by David Adler (Cam Jansen, etc.). It was okay. The plot seemed to be all over the place- the jellybean experiment, school reports, Calvin's dad, the party, and reading a little league pitcher's pitch signals. I think the intended age group will like it well enough.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was great fun! I received an advance copy, complete with a packet of jellybeans! I wonder if we should all try the jellybean experiment toward making friends? This book will be a perfect fit for my 2nd and 3rd graders who love the idea of Wimpy Kid but aren't quite ready for them. (A homerun, Mr. Adler!!)
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The story itself was very engaging, but I found the illustrations sadly distracting. I know that they're meant to be a little boy's doodles, but I often couldn't even tell what they were trying to represent. Which I guess is like most kids' doodles, but nonetheless, it really didn't add anything to the story. I think the story would have scored higher for me without the illustrations...
NYC Reads 365
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action-oriented
"What happens when jellybeans go through the laundry? Fourth grader Danny Cohen finds out when new kid Calvin Waffle subjects him to a strange experiment. Calvin is obsessed with statistics; the only statistic Danny knows is that Calvin is 100% weird. Danny's doodles embellish the pages of this first book in a series."
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Adler was born in New York City, New York. He graduated from Queens College in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in economics and education. For the next nine years, he worked as a mathematics teacher for the New York City Board of Education, while taking classes towards a master's degree in marketing, a degree he was awarded by New York University in 1971. In that same year, a question from his then- ...more
More about David A. Adler...

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