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Review: Ivy & Bean: No News is Good News

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Looking for new books to share with your child? Check out the book review below! Each week we bring you the latest reviews of books geared toward children in grades K-5 from the creators of "Sweet on Books", a locally-based initiative with reviews written for you exclusively by mothers, as part of our ABC7 Learning Section Enjoy!

Title: Ivy & Bean: No News is Good News

IvyBean245 Author: Annie Barrows

Themes: Family Life, Friendship, Imagination, Individuality

Published: 2011, 128 pages

'Sweet' book summary:
Reviewer: Melissa Y.

In the latest installment of this first-rate series, Ivy & Bean are obsessed with the cheese everyone has at lunch, except them! The girls' parents have deemed the Belldeloon cheese (think Babybel cheese) junk food as being too expensive. The girls are bereft. The exciting part of the cheese is actually the wrapper. It is wrapped in red wax and it becomes everyone's favorite toy at recess: all except Ivy and Bean. The girls decide they are going to make some money so they can purchase their own cheese, and they decide to try Bean's father's idea of writing a newspaper and distributing it.


What Bean's father forgot to tell them is this: You can't snoop in other people's windows and then publish their secrets! The fallout is funny and the girls decide the cheese wasn't even worth it, although when used as a disguise the wax does save them from an angry mob!

Annie Barrows has hit a wonderful note with this extraordinary series. It is entertaining and informative, but never preachy! This is such a delicate line to balance in children's literature, and Barrows does it beautifully. The girls' friendships and family life are positive and realistic examples for young readers. Sophie Blackall's illustrations are warm and funny, providing a wonderful backdrop to these terrific stories. Although girl-centric, since the color choices and the illustrations have a decidedly feminine bent, boys would enjoy the stories, too. If he doesn't mind a pink book jacket, I am positive he will enjoy the story between these covers!

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What You Need to Know:
  • Ivy and Bean are, as always, engaging and imaginative.
  • Ivy and Bean are nice, strong role models for young girls. Neither character gives a hoot about peer pressure and both are quite independent-minded and spirited.
  • The author, Annie Barrows, either naturally sees the humor in childhood, or just remembers it well!
  • This series, as a whole, is a stand-out in the early chapter book genre.

If you liked this book, try:
  • Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
  • Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry
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