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Ivy & Bean (Book 1) (Bk. 1) Paperback – May 3, 2007

336 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the Ivy + Bean Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

In this first book in Annie Barrows' bestselling series, young readers will meet Ivy and Bean--a dynamic duo like no other. The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn't be friends. But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, Nancy, and has to hide quick Ivy comes to the rescue, proving that sometimes the best of friends are people never meant to like each other. Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this a charming and addictive introduction to Ivy and Bean. This series is perfect for readers ages 6-9.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4–Seven-year-old Bean likes stomping in puddles, climbing fences into neighbors' backyards, and playing tricks on her older sister, Nancy. She wears dresses as seldom as possible and avoids big books. Her new neighbor appears to be a quiet, orderly girl who sits on her front step day after day reading tomes. The two seem to have nothing in common, and Bean is not interested in getting to know Ivy, despite her mother's prodding to make friends with the nice girl next door. Then Bean gets into trouble, and Ivy helps her out. She discovers that Ivy is practicing to be a witch, and when they decide to cast a spell on Nancy, their friendship is sealed. With echoes of Beverly Cleary's Ramona series, this easy chapter book will appeal to children who are graduating from beginning readers. The occasional black-and-white illustrations highlight the text and provide visual clues. The characters are appealing, the friendship is well portrayed, and the pranks and adventures are very much on grade level.–Eve Ottenberg Stone, Cooper Lane Elementary, Landover Hills, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Reprint edition (May 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811849090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811849098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (336 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I could tell you a whole bunch of facts about myself--born here, went to school there, blah blah--but that doesn't seem like much fun. So I've decided to make you guys do some work. If you can figure out these puzzles, you'll know all sorts of interesting things about me. And many of them are true, too.

1. I was born in a year with a 2 in it. Also a 6.
2. I was born in a city in California that begins with an S and has eight letters total.
3. The first time I moved, I couldn't move.
4. My best friend lived next door, had four older brothers and sisters, and a name that rhymes with Gabe. She had thirty-seven plastic horses and one real horse.
5. My first job was in a place with lots of books. My second job was in a place with lots of sugar. My third job was in a different place with lots of books.
6. I went to college in a town with a K in it and I studied a subject that ends in Y.
7. After I was done with college, I got a job. And then another one. And then there was one after that. Don't worry about it.
8. One of the following things is not true: I have been up in a hot air balloon. I have six toes on one of my feet. I can read palms.
9. I have written fifteen books under three different names. See if you can figure out what they are.
10. I have two pets. They are bigger than a bar of soap and smaller than a shoe, and they really like parsley.

Have fun!
Annie Barrows

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Thinking Out Loud on February 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
*** Warning: This review contains spoilers! ***

First off, I have to give this book praise because it is the first chapter book that my 7-year-old first grader read all on her own, cover to cover. She got it as a gift, and though she was at first indifferent to it, once she picked it up, she read the entire book in one sitting. She is now very excited to go back and read book one - this book is the second in the series - and the rest of the series, too. The reading level is exactly appropriate for her, and clearly she finds the content amusing.

I want to say, too, that I really liked Ivy and Bean's teacher, Ms. Aruba-Tate. I thought she was kind, yet firm, and just what an elementary school teacher should be.

So, why only 3 stars? Basically, I don't like the way the two girls behave. I'm probably over-thinking it, but here goes...

Sure, Ivy and Bean's antics appeal to young readers. But I just can't get over the worry that maybe my daughter will pick up some bad ideas, with disastrous results. Yes, Ramona Quimby (whose books I love) behaved badly, too, but usually, by the time she got to be school-aged, she was well-intentioned, though sometimes misguided or misunderstood. Ivy and Bean, on the other hand, cause trouble even though it seems like they should know better.

Early on in the book, I was appalled that Bean physically tackled another student to the ground and then smashed plums into his hair - at school! Okay, I can see the humor in the situation, and in the book, Bean and the other student were simply told to "work it out.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is hard to find books for younger readers that combine silliness, mischief, friendship, authenticity, and common sense. It's even harder to find ones that don't have an undercurrent of hip irony, or, even worse, some odd note of sourness. The Ivy + Bean books manage to hit this sweet spot remarkably well.
Bean is the designated cut-up, but she is usually saved by a good sense of what is fair and allowable. Ivy is supposedely the long suffering "good girl", but she can get carried away by a mischievous streak, that can surprise Bean and the reader. So, we get a much more balanced team of friends than is usually the case, and a lot more opportunity for each character to be more than just a predictable "type".
Additionally, secondary characters, (parents, siblings, teachers, schoolmates), are not just stock figures, but develop actual personalities and contribute to the momentum of the various stories. This adds a lot more depth and variety to the books than one would normally expect.
This book worked as an attention-holding "read to" with our five year old, and drfited into a "read with" and then "read alone". That made it a wonderful transition book to independent reading.
And, remember the bonus - these are nice kids, who can be silly, or grumpy, or careless, but can also be loyal and thoughtful and responsible. Good company, I thought, for my little readers.
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66 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Roren Tarubetto on November 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am the mother of a very kind-hearted 7 year old, and adorable, but pain in the butt to her older sister 4 year-old. I bought this book for my 7 year old because it had some sort of illustration on each page (she was very reluctant to move into chapter books, so I thought one with pictures all through would be a good compromise). I totally agree that the message is not the best if you focus on that aspect of the story, but if you have instilled proper values in your children, reading these stories only introduce them into a fantasy land. My daughter, and I'm not kidding about her being kindhearted, she's very sensitive to other people's feelings, but she really enjoyed this book, and has read it twice in 1 week. I say so long as you instill the right manner of behavior in your children, allowing a little mischief won't kill them. Reading is all about imagination anyway. If they ask why she got away with all the bad stuff, you can tell them the truth - it is a fantasy world, it doesn't work that way in hour house. I still think it's a fun transitional book for kids reluctant to move out of picture books.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Brownell on July 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Our local children's theatre does plays based on children's literature. I saw they had one scheduled for the upcoming season based on this book series. I always love to read my children the books before seeing a play or movie about them so I was thrilled to be able to discover a new series. However, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I could not even get through the first couple pages of reading this outloud to my 7 and 4 year old.

I was shocked that within just the first page there was name calling, bad attitudes and such disrespect. I understand being funny and mischievous and but this was just plain BAD. As a parent, we are working hard to shape character in our children - teaching them to love, be kind, respect each other, the basic stuff of getting along in this world and making a positive difference. I can not fathom that an author would purposefully write such blatant attitudes for a character in a children's book. Our kids absorb this and reflect what they read in books and see in TV.

What was amazing to me was that my kids picked up on it right away and even my daughter, at 4 years old, said, "mommy, she is not being very nice to her sister, I don't like this story".

I strive everyday to teach my kids to build each other up, not tear each other down. This is not 'silly entertainment' to me. Our children are created for better 'input' than this. They deserve better characters to emulate.
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