SeaBEAN: Book 1 – Planning Overview

Written by Dan

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The SeaBEAN trilogy, beginning with its eponymous first book, introduces readers to Alice, a young protagonist who discovers the enigmatic C-Bean.

This device propels her on a series of globe-trotting adventures that captivate both young and adult readers alike. Sarah Holding’s creation is not merely a tale of mystery and exploration but also a vessel for thematic exploration, delivering environmental and social commentaries with a deft narrative touch.

Related: For more, check out our Planning Overview on Macbeth by Shakespeare  here.

The SeaBEAN series is rooted firmly in its cultural and social contexts, reflecting contemporary concerns and ethical dilemmas that resonate with its audience.

Through the adventures of Alice and her companions, the trilogy invites its readers to ponder the pressing global issues of our time.

Sarah Holding’s writing, a blend of careful research and imaginative storytelling, has garnered attention for its ability to weave these elements seamlessly into her narrative, earning a place among significant works within the genre.

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Key Takeaways

  • The SeaBEAN trilogy is celebrated for its imaginative narrative and relatable protagonist.
  • Sarah Holding’s books are acknowledged for addressing current environmental and societal issues.
  • The series has been positively received and extends its influence through various multimedia platforms.

SeaBEAN Trilogy Synopsis

In the SeaBEAN Trilogy, readers are whisked away on an imaginative adventure where a young girl named Alice discovers a mysterious machine called the C-Bean on the Scottish island of St Kilda.

The trilogy combines elements of adventure, fantasy, and time travel, inviting readers into a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

The Adventure Begins

Alice’s journey starts on her eleventh birthday when she encounters the eponymous black box—the C-Bean—on the beach of St Kilda. This mysterious object sets the stage for a series of adventures that blend modern-day exploration with unforeseen mysteries.

Characters and Setting

The central character, Alice, is a girl with a keen sense of adventure, and her connection to the C-Bean is both unique and pivotal. St Kilda, her home, is described as a remote Scottish island, which creates an isolating backdrop that contrasts with the expansive adventures the characters undertake.

Plot Twists and Time Travel

As the storyline of the SeaBEAN Trilogy unfolds, readers are met with surprising plot twists involving time travel and the C-Bean’s abilities. The Mark 3 version of the C-Bean introduces new layers to the adventure, taking the children of St Kilda, including Alice, to different times and locations, weaving a richly adventurous tapestry that spans the trilogy.

Author Profile

The section provides an insight into Sarah Holding, the creative author behind the intriguing SeaBEAN book series.

About Sarah Holding

Sarah Holding has led a dynamic career prior to becoming a full-time author. Her professional journey includes roles such as an architect, and a university professor.

These varied experiences have nourished her storytelling, culminating in her writing engaging books for young adults and children. Holding’s work is appreciated for its imagination and distinctiveness, as evidenced by her well-received SeaBEAN Trilogy.

Her debut into the literary world has been marked by the SeaBEAN Trilogy, where readers encounter the character Alice finding a mysterious black box on the beach, a device that promises adventurous tales rich with fantasy elements. Holding’s fiction often intertwines environmental themes, showcasing her commitment to weaving thought-provoking narratives.

The author’s literary presence is significant, not only for the innovative concepts she explores in her books but also for her dedication to inspiring young readers.

Holding’s profile on platforms like Goodreads illustrates her active engagement with the reader community, emphasising her approachability and the personal connection she fosters with her audience.

Medina Publishing, the publisher of the first edition of the SeaBean Trilogy (the books are now published by Firehorse), adds to the accessibility and spread of her stories, enabling her visions to reach bookshelves and ignite the imaginations of children across the UK and beyond.

Sarah Holding’s contribution to children’s literature is undeniably impactful, casting her as an author of calibre and creativity in the world of contemporary fiction.

You can request a virtual or in-person author visit by emailing [email protected]

Thematic Exploration

“SeaBEAN” by Sarah Holding delves into pressing contemporary issues with a narrative that intertwines environmental awareness and a rich tapestry of historical and geographical settings.

The novel’s thematic content not only entertains but also enlightens, shedding light on the symbiosis between human actions and their repercussions on our planet.

Environmental Significance

In “SeaBEAN,” the striking imagery that Holding presents acts as a poignant reminder of the fragility of our environment and the vulnerability of its eco-systems. Through Alice’s encounter with pollution in her small island community, the novel emphasises the interconnectedness of local and global environmental issues.

Historical and Geographical Integration

Set on the remote island of St Kilda, off the coast of Scotland, “SeaBEAN” seamlessly integrates history into its narrative, offering readers a glimpse into the past and its lingering influence on the present. Moreover, the novel’s adventure transcends the Scottish locale, venturing into diverse geographical landscapes, including the Amazonian rainforest.

These shifts in setting are not just a backdrop but function as a narrative device to explore historical and planetary connections, prompting young readers to consider their own place within the world’s narrative.

Cultural and Social Context

Within the fabric of contemporary children’s literature, “SeaBEAN” by Sarah Holding emerges as a significant work that engages young readers, particularly within the sphere of education.

The narrative invites contemplation on ecological and community themes, and this resonance within the scholastic environment serves as a catalyst for discourse amongst youth.

Influence on Youth

“SeaBEAN” entwines its adventurous plot with a profound educational underpinning, exerting influence on young minds through its portrayal of pressing environmental issues.

Schools should find that the thematic elements of the book—interlaced with intrigue and discovery—enrich the learning experience, encouraging classrooms to explore complex subjects.

In essence, this children’s book functions as both a stimulant for the imagination and a springboard for discussion on real-world issues.

Sarah Holding presents concepts that transcend the conventional curriculum, allowing children to conceptualise the broader implications of their actions on a global scale.

By following the protagonist Alice’s journey, readers are exposed to various cultural and societal dynamics that augment their understanding of community and environment. The presence of a character such as Alice, within an educational context, has the potential to empower students as they navigate the learning process.

Moreover, prominent authors such as Dame Jacqueline Wilson have underscored the value of narrative in shaping young perspectives. Much like Wilson’s work, “SeaBEAN” leverages storytelling to impart lessons that are pivotal in a child’s cognitive and moral development.

This alignment with esteemed writers in the realm of children’s book publishing positions “SeaBEAN” as a treasure trove for engaging learners in meaningful discourse.

Critical Reception and Reviews

The “SeaBEAN” trilogy by Sarah Holding has gained notable attention with its reviews highlighting the book’s capability to engage and captivate young readers through its storyline and narrative prowess.

Public and Critical Acclaim

Critics and the public alike have acclaimed Sarah Holding’s work in the “SeaBEAN” trilogy.

  • The Guardian: This reputable outlet has published multiple reviews that express admiration for the book’s ability to not only engage its readers but also provoke thought about environmental issues. The protagonist, Alice, is portrayed as a strong character encountering complex challenges.
  • Blog Reception: Literary blogs echo the sentiment of larger publications, particularly highlighting the book as ‘unputdownable’ and praising its ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Various aspects of the reviews often converge on the description of “SeaBEAN” as a gripping and thought-provoking read for its target audience, combining adventure with larger real-world implications.

These endorsements contribute to the positive reputation that this book enjoys among children’s literature circles.

Multimedia Extensions and Related Works

The “SeaBEAN” series has reached audiences beyond the pages of the books, extending into various forms of multimedia experiences and merchandise designed to complement the reading experience.

Adaptations and Merchandise

  • Scheme of Work: Created by Sarah Holding for schools to use.


  • To date, there have been no official announcements or releases of a SeaBEAN movie or game adaptation. Enthusiasts of the series continue to hope for a visual media rendition that brings the island of St Kilda and its mysteries to life.


  • While the market has not seen a wide range of merchandise specifically for SeaBEAN, limited items such as themed bookmarks and educational materials for schools are in circulation. These items often coincide with Sarah Holding’s school visits and the use of her books in educational settings.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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