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Ivy + Bean Have Fun, But Misbehavior Gets Rewarded
on February 5, 2013
First, some context for my review: My 7-year-old daughter in first grade LOVES Ivy + Bean, and she devours each book in a single sitting. I like that this series encourages her to read independently. I, however, am not too fond of the misbehavior depicted in the series, but I am reading the books so that I can remind my daughter, when necessary, "This makes for a good story, but you KNOW you can't do that in real life, right?"
As usual, we have an entertaining story, but my concerns boil down to the fact that the girls engage in inappropriate behavior (all in fun), and then they don't suffer any consequences for their bad decisions.
I like that the girls were willing to do some work to earn money. With a suggestion from Bean's father, they decided to sell subscriptions to a neighborhood newsletter. Unfortunately, I was quickly disappointed when they tried to weasel out of actually writing the newsletter - after already having collected the money!
Bean's father gets them back on track, but in order for them to collect "news" for their newsletter, they basically trespass and spy on people in their own homes. They completely violate the privacy of others, and when the neighbors see the newsletter, adults and children come to Bean's house to complain.
Yes, I can see the humor in the resulting newsletter, but I would have preferred seeing a satisfying moral ending along with the funny outcome. The girls weren't acting maliciously, so punishment wasn't necessary, but they still should have had to apologize to the neighbors for spying, making up stories, exaggerating, and violating their privacy. They didn't, and there is no lesson learned, no remorse. Instead, they actually get rewarded with more money.
Like other books in this series, this one also includes name-calling.