A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids see how you can can navigate a neighborhood by going through backyards.
Don't judge a book by its cover -- you may have a lot in common with someone who, on first glance, seems very different from you. Unscheduled time and imaginative freeplay is fun. Reading is cool. It's wonderful to discover a good friend.
Positive Role Models
Ivy and Bean each have great qualities: They're fun-loving, adventurous, creative, spunky, smart, supportive of each other, imaginative, curious, and adept at making up their own fun and games. They're also open to being friends with someone different. Bean is prone to (harmless) pranks and typical sibling rivalry, and she steals money from her older sister and tries to cast a spell on her.
Bean razzes her older sister and calls her a "tightwad."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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 to be 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 oversize print, frequent black-and-white illustrations, and easy-to-follow plot, this first book in a consistently funny and engaging series is a great starter chapter book for kids just emerging from being early readers. Audiobook version read by Cassandra Morris.
Is It Any Good?
IVY + BEAN makes the jump to chapter books easier with its large-print, easy-to-follow text, expressive illustrations -- and, most important, 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, and 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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.