Parents' Guide to

Ivy + Bean, Book 1

By Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Friendship tale a sure hit with kids starting chapter books.

Ivy + Bean, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 30 parent reviews

age 6+

Parents should read this book before giving it to their children

This book sends poor messages to children about what is and isn't acceptable behavior. It glorifies bad behavior and behavior that is nice or good is shown as boring. There is also something dark about this book that is unsettling. Its one thing for kids to have a vivid imagination, but when you have them talking about using dead frogs and worms to cast spells ( they cast a spell on Bean's sister out of revenge)... Its just twisted and not appropriate at all. The book doesn't even redeem itself with good writing. It was a painful read. Please do not waste your money. It has no educational or moral value and I don't think that anyone should read it, especially not children.
age 8+

Parents beware and do your research.

Parents beware and do your research. Depending on your views and beliefs you may find that the content in this book is not for your family. My views come from a Christian standpoint. I will be honest, the things that drew me to this book were, that is would be a great way to start my daughter who is advanced in reading into chapter books (other than the ones at home) and her name is Ivy. We sat down in the bookstore and she pre-read a few pages of chapter 1. I skimmed the book and it seemed harmless enough. I should have dived deeper when she was intrigued by the book BUT she said "mommy, the eyes of the girls looked bad." As my daughter progressed through the book, excited to read, she had progressed all the way to page 47. As she read out loud, I asked her if she was understanding the content as her comprehension is rather good. She started telling me about Ivy who was studying/practicing to be a witch and Bean who was mad at her sister and how the two of them were devising a plan to get back at her sister. Ivy needed a dead frog, and so on. Needless to say, I was very alarmed with the content of this book and started reading reviews (which I should have done prior to buying this book). I do not feel that this book is appropriate for any child. It has content that is too mature and pushes an agenda of witchcraft, hate and divisiveness. This type of content is not the type of content young minds should absorb especially in a world that exhibits hate and divisiveness on a daily basis. This books sends a strong message against loving one another as well as to teaching to work out your problems in a sneaky and malicious manner. I know that some find it humorous, but what our children take into their spirit and soul will be lived out and may manifest itself in such an unfathomable and tragedy manner. I will return this book to the store or discard it as I do not want to be the cause of another child reading this material.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (30 ):
Kids say (10 ):

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.

Book Details

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