What It Is
Ivy & Bean is an early reader chapter book series about two girls who prove the theory that opposites attract. The first book in the series introduces Bean as a 7-year-old girl. She’s got a fresh mouth, does not behave in school, talks back to her mother and thinks nothing of stealing money from her sister. Ivy is the opposite. She’s a sweet, well-mannered girl who is a good friend. Frankly, Bean is lucky that Ivy puts up with her. (Bean is the type of girl that makes a parent cringe when your child asks if she can come over for a play date.) The nine books in the series are about the adventures, misadventures and, sometimes, catastrophes, of this unlikely duo.
Why It’s Fun
Ivy & Bean have experiences typical of girls their age, which young girls will relate to and enjoy reading about. Their motto is “Why not?” which is an inspiring way to look at life.
Who It’s For
The publisher recommends the series for ages 6 to 10, which is right on.
What To Be Aware Of
I love the fact that my 7-year-old reads them on her own, but I don’t like the fact that Bean is such a pest. However, Bean’s behavior provides teachable moments for parents and kids, encouraging them to discuss what type of qualities they might like in a friend and which are turnoffs. And, it’s a reality check for a child’s own behavior.
If you have a choosy reader, and this is the series they want to read, you may just have to deal with it.