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4.8 out of 5 stars
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My first grader loves the Ivy and Bean series of books, especially the central characters, Bean and her best friend Ivy. The girls are precocious, intelligent, and always up to some adventure (or misadventure, depending on how one looks at it!). These traits appeal to my daughter as she is quite the adventurer herself, and the chapters are relatively short, which makes it easy for her to read independently. The books average about 120 pages, and she manages to read up to 40 pages per sitting (around 45 minutes).

What I found to be fascinating was that the plot for each story is so well-written and developed that my daughter could not stop once she started reading! I usually sit with her and supervise her reading, helping out with some difficult words, and she gets so involved with the story that she just keeps on reading. This to me is the mark of a good book, one that entices a young reader to keep reading. The language is not overly simplified, on the contrary, there are some challenging words which I help my daughter with (pronunciation and definition, if necessary).

The black and white illustrations by Sophie Blacksall that appear in each chapter add to the appeal of these books. In this latest installment, Ivy and Bean are envious of their classmates who all appear to have the coveted ball of cheese in the red wax packaging. The children use the piece of wax to make all sorts of things like 'boogers',mustaches, etc. When Bean's mom refuses to buy the cheese because it is too expensive, the girls devise a scheme to earn money on their own so that they can buy the cheese themselves. Their half-baked schemes are so creative and funny that I could not help laughing as my daughter read the story out loud night after night. What will the girls think of next and will it work? This is another winner in the Ivy and Bean series.
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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.
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VINE VOICEon November 24, 2011
Ivy and Bean are at it again, but this time it's all in the name of cheese. Well, maybe not cheese, but definitely the delightfully fun and very versatile red wax wrapper around the outside of low-fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for-you serving size. Everyone at school has them with their lunch except for Ivy and Bean, but they're on a mission. After Bean's dad suggests a neighborhood newspaper the girls set out to discover exactly what goes on in the lives of their neighbors, even if that means peeking in a few windows.

This has got to be one of my absolute favorite chapter book series ever! Annie Barrows understands kids so completely well that it has me second guessing her age; certainly she must still be ten years old? That's probably not true, but what is true is the fact that each one of the Ivy and Bean books will have you in stitches while remembering either your own childhood or imagining your own children doing some of the whacky things that kids just do. Not only adults love this series, but kiddos absolutely relate even at a very very young age. This was the first book in the series that I've read with daughter and at only two and a half she loved every minute of it.

In this edition of Ivy and Bean, Non News is Good News, the pair are on a mission to get that waxy stuff around the outside of certain cheeses. At first they start off by simply asking their parents who both tell them no and advise them they need to buy their own. One of my favorite scenes was when Ivy tries to tell her mom to get the cheese for her while she's sleeping. I couldn't help but imagine the Turkeybird and Littlebug doing that at Ivy's age, it's hilarious! Eventually the girls discover that they could actually make money by working (even if that's not their original intention). Their newspaper, The Flipping Pancake, comes together after snooping around the neighborhood in search of the next great news story. At the end of it all, though Ivy and Bean's neighbors may be a little put out by their "dirty laundry" being shared it's certain that the pair learns a little bit about the importance of earning something through hard work.

No News is Good News is absolutely right. Ivy and Bean, on their mission for cheese, discover that maybe the lives of their neighbors are better left behind closed doors and windows. Fortunately though they also discover that hard work does pay off when they are finally able to enjoy their delicious low-fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for you serving size and the pliable wax that surrounds it. This is a series I've thoroughly enjoyed and one I'm eager to read through with both my kiddos as they continue to grow up and do the hilarious things that only kids do. Annie Barrows coupled with Sophie Blackall's fantastic illustrations make for one of the most superb children's book series out there.

My original review was posted at There's A Book.
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on May 12, 2012
My daughter was given then first 6 books as a birthday gift, and she loved them! Ever since, she has been on the lookout for each new book that comes out. I try to convince her to wait for the paperback, but she can't.

Honestly, I am so glad she is into reading, and that these books are written well and deal with age appropriate issues. I would recommend these books to everyone (even my son reads them!)
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on June 5, 2014
Reviewed by my 7 year old. My daughter has read many of the Ivy & Bean books. She says they are a bit more challenging than the Rainbow Fairy books(rainbow magic Fairy) series. She likes their adventures and the ideas in the books. Hope this helps! She would recommend these books.
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on September 27, 2012
My sister, a 1st/2nd grade teacher, recommended this book series after I was telling her the challenges of finding books for my 7 year old who is not quite ready for longer chapter books but to advanced for picture books and early readers. She was right, my daughter loves them and they are clever and fun to read aloud. I also like the female characters who are just the right amount of mischievous. Perfect.
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on June 5, 2012
Annie Barrows's eighth book in her series is as fresh as her first. Ivy and Bean are back and this time the two best friends are obsessed with cheese. Well, not cheese exactly, more with the red wax that covers "lowfat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for-you serving size". The peeled off wax can be squished and molded into any number of shapes, such as a unicorn horn, a soccer ball, or a fake mustache. Every student in the lunchroom brings the cheese tidbits to school. Everyone, that is, except Ivy and Bean.

Barrows clearly hasn't lost her feel for what it's like to be a child. She understands the yearning the girls have to get their hands on that wax. When their parents refuse to buy them the treats, the girls decide to earn money and buy their own. Bean's father mentions that when he was a boy he wrote a newspaper and sold subscriptions. Ivy and Bean are off and running.

The newspaper they produce, The Flipping Pancake, has more in common with the National Enquirer than the New York Times. The two friends spy on their neighbors in order to get the real scoop on what's happening on Pancake Court. They even print a nudie photo of a neighbor (as a baby). Of course, eventually the neighbors receive their copies of the scandal sheet. As revenge comes a-knockin', Ivy and Bean put their heads together and come up with a solution that allows them to escape harm. Hint: It involves cheese rind.

No News Is Good News is another hilarious triumph for Barrows. Young readers will keep flipping the pages to find out what new plan the girls come up with next. Sophie Blackall's delightful illustrations add to the fun.
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on May 21, 2013
Hemingway wishes he wrote a book this engaging, this gripping, and this enticing. I am so jealous of my eight year old daughter because she gets to experience this masterpiece and won't let me read it.
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on April 3, 2016
Hi! I am eight.This book is funny because Ivy and Bean make a newspaper just for cheese so that they could play with the wax on it.I liked when Bean put notes in her mom's books that said "Belldeloon cheese is good!" So funny!
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on April 6, 2014
My review is five stars.

This is a great book . I like it because lots of funny things happen . There isn't really anything I don't like about this book .

Here's a summary of what happened in the book: Ivy and Bean are eating lunch . Lots of kids, probably all of them have cheese with red wax on it . They make little shapes with the wax . They want to have the wax too . But they wouldn't like the cheese .
Bean's dad tells them they need to raise money to get the cheese . He tells them they could raise money by making a newspaper . So they go around asking people if they want a newspaper.
Then they need to write a news paper ...
Read the book for more !

I would though recommend this book for ages 7-10.

I hope this has helped you decide if you want it or not ! Good luck !
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