Sunday, May 1, 2011

Children's Corner: Ivy & Bean

Ivy & Bean (Book 1) (Bk. 1)Series Summary from the Author:  One of the big problems of being a kid is that your parents often try to make you play with people you don’t really like. My parents were forever trying to get me to like the kids of their friends. These kids were often weird. I didn’t want to play with them. It was a problem.

I remembered that when I was writing the first Ivy and Bean. Ivy and Bean are very different. Bean is loud and wild and goofy. She loves to be involved in games and poke her nose in other people’s business. Ivy is quiet and full of ideas. She spends most of her time learning how to be a witch. Each girl thinks the other one is weird. Each girl thinks she could never be friends with the other. Especially because their parents keep nagging them about it.

But sometimes opposites can become the best of friends because they’re opposites. For example, people who like to talk need people who like to listen. And people with great ideas need people who can put those ideas into action. For Ivy and Bean, their differences mean that they have more fun together than they could ever have separately. It also means that, together, they do more wacky things than any one kid could ever dream up. The Ivy and Bean books are about the adventures—and disasters—created by this unlikely team. And since their motto seems to be “Why not?” there’s every reason to believe that their capers and catastrophes will continue for quite a while.  ~Annie Barrows, author website

Review:  From the author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society comes a series of chapter books that are fun for kids and adults alike. Whether your child is more like Ivy or more like Bean, or somewhere in the middle, there is so much with which to identify.  I love the friendship between the two girls.  They stick up for each other and stick together.  It's a beautiful example of friendship.

My daughter is currently just shy of three-and-a-half, so she is not quite the intended audience for chapter books, but I read to her at nap time, and this series is one of our favorite selections.  The stories are wonderful and full of mischief and we both enjoy them.  Even I find myself wanting to peek ahead if my daughter falls asleep ...or catch up if my husband takes a weekend nap shift.  I know this is something she will enjoy rediscovering by herself later on.

My only regret is that, because they're chapter books, they're short.  We always want more of their wacky capers and steadfast friendship, but that's a good thing too, because someday that will be the hook that keeps her reading on her own.

PS. I think this is something that would lend itself to television well.



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