Monday, September 27, 2010

Ivy + Bean = A Fun Read

Growing up were you ever pressured to be friends with the kid next door? I was. Ester L. and I were the same age so it was assumed by our well-meaning families that we should and would be friends. And while I did play with her, it was only when there was no one better around. (I'm pretty sure she felt the same about me.) Luckily for Ivy and Bean, two next-door neighbors in an early chapter book by the same name, their friendship--after a rocky beginning--has a happier ending. Written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Ivy + Bean features two spunky seven-year-old girls, each one pressured by her mother to become friends.

Bean, a sassy, puddle-stomping spitfire, takes an instant dislike to Ivy when she moves into the house across the street. Ivy seems boring and nice, not friend material at all. The pair unite when they take on Bean's eleven-year-old sister Nancy. Ivy, although quiet and seemingly demur, has hidden qualities--she can belch on demand and she's a witch, or at least a witch in training. The two girls join forces to create a spell that will have Nancy dancing nonstop. By the end of the day the pair have pulled off the spell with hilarious results and in the process have become fast friends. Since that first book, six more in the series have been published.

The latest just came out and is titled Ivy + Bean: What's the Big Idea? This time out the girls team up as scientists for the school's science fair. They have a modest project. End global warming. Should be a blast!

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