What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ivy + bean is a multiple award-winning book about making a new friend, learning about differences, and sharing an adventure. On the surface these girls appear very different. One wears dresses and reads books, the other has a sassy mouth and likes to get dirty. Some sibling issues occur, including fights with an older sister, stealing her money, playing tricks on her, and calling her names, such as "tightwad." With its oversized print, frequent black-and-white illustrations, and easy-to-follow plot, this first book in a consistenly funny and engaging series is a great beginning chapter book for kids who are just emerging from early readers.
What's the story?
Seven-year-old Bean gets caught playing a trick on her older sister and manages to escape thanks to the help of an unlikely ally: a "quiet" neighbor girl named Ivy. Then Ivy takes Bean to a secret hideout and reveals she's a witch-in-training. When Ivy offers to cast a "dancing spell" on Bean's older sister, Bean is thrilled. As the girls work together on their plan, a friendship is born.
Is it any good?
Making the jump from a short, early reader to a chapter book is a huge milestone for the beginning reader. IVY AND BEAN makes it easier with its large-print, easy-to-follow text, expressive illustrations -- and, most importantly, two colorful 7-year-old girls. Reminiscent of the classic Beverly Cleary series about Ramona, here's another book series about friendship, silliness, pranks, adventure, getting in trouble, and challenges with siblings, that's a sure hit with kids.
So typical of real life, these girls, who are neighbors, are urged by their respective mothers to play together. Ivy appears quiet, dainty, dutiful; and Bean is wild, dirty, and full of sass. Not until they join forces against Bean's older sister do they discover each other's unique qualities. Ivy is actually studying to become a witch. Bean knows how to move through the neighborhood via backyards. Here's to the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Ivy and Bean had no interest in being friends when they met because each thought the other was too different; how are Ivy and Bean actually more similar in personality than different? Do you have friends that are just like you or different in many ways?