Zelda and Ivy Series

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Zelda and Ivy Series Book Poster Image
Fun adventures of fox sisters with wild imaginations.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Nothing academic here, but great lessons in the value of imagination and adventure. 

Positive Messages

It's fun to invent games and be imaginative in your play. Your sister can be a great friend.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The sisters have a strong friendship, which is a nice alternative to the rivalry and bickering that most books show. The girls' sense of imagination and adventure are delightful. Zelda can be a little self-centered, ignoring other people’s feelings and barreling ahead with her own ideas. The adults are barely mentioned in the stories.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Laura McGee Kvasnosky's Zelda and Ivy series is a fun, adventurous look at life with a sibling. Each book has three brief stories (10-plus pages long), told from the perspective of either the older Zelda or the younger Ivy, so young readers can relate whether they're an older or younger sibling -- or wondering what having a sibling would be like. The stories are short enough that emerging readers will feel a sense of accomplishment and be challenged by the vocabulary but not exhausted by trying to work through long, involved tales. 

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What's the story?

The ZELDA AND IVY series is a funny, realistic look at the shenanigans that happen among siblings and friends. Fox siblings Zelda and Ivy run away to their backyard to protest cucumber sandwiches, play pirate ship in their tree, make "creative juice" to help Zelda write a letter, and more. When Eugene, the new boy next door, joins their imaginative games, the girls see how it can be tough to have an odd number of people playing.

Is it any good?

Simply written and without being preachy or saccharine, these Seuss Award-winning books are full of situations young readers can relate to. Sisters Zelda and Ivy have built a world full of imagination: They make up games and activities rather than expect anyone to entertain them, they team up against their parents, and they make friends with the new fox next door.

Readers won't sense that there's a lot to learn from the books, but the language that author Laura McGee Kvasnosky uses and the colorful illustrations will grab the interest of emerging readers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Zelda and Ivy play on their own so much. Their parents almost never appear in the books. Is that how you and your siblings and friends play?

  • What's the difference between being bossy like Zelda and showing leadership skills? How can someone be in charge of something like a pretend pirate ship and still make everyone feel welcome and involved?

  • What are some of your favorite books about siblings?

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