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

4.5 out of 5 stars 724 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the Ivy + Bean Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 Library Binding edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 510 (What's this?)
  • 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (724 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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The Ivy & Bean books were among the first "long" books my first-grade daughter could read on her own, and she loves them. I love that they are much better literature than the Rainbow Magic series she also adores. I'd say they are more like the Ramona books: they're not formulaic like so many modern "early chapter book" series; each book in the series tells a different engaging story. Ivy and Bean are realistic characters who have realistic relationships with their parents, neighbors, classmates, and teachers.

This boxed set was a Christmas gift much appreciated by the six-year-old recipient. The vinyl-sticker paper dolls that come with the set are very nice quality and a fun extra.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My six-year-old daughter loves to read and has recently started reading chapter books. Once she got over her obsession with the Junie B. Jones series, I managed to get her interested in the Cam Jansen series of books and then I discovered the Ivy and Bean series. My daughter loves 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 100-120 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 that appear in each chapter add to the appeal of these books. This boxed set is a value buy since it contains three of the Ivy and Bean books, i.e. Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter, Ivy and Bean Bound to Be Bad, and Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance. In addition, there is a bonus in the form of 2 stand-up Ivy and Bean dolls, plus four sheets of removable plastic wardrobe stickers which provide hours of fun for young children.
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