Ivy + Bean
by Annie Barrows
Lately I have been on the lookout for great first chapter books for my nephew. He likes anything that is funny, and he trusts me to help him find a good book. So, I picked up Ivy and Bean at Target the other day. I started with book one to keep myself properly oriented. While I wouldn’t necessary drop it in the mail for my humor-seeking nephew, I would recommend it to any reader who loves to read something like realistic fiction.
We are first introduced to Bean. She is your typical tomboy with an older sister she likes to antagonize. Now, don’t feel too sorry for Nancy, the older sister. She fancies herself an authority in Bean’s life and in my opinion invites her sister's rage. Anyway, Bean’s mother continues to suggest that Bean go and play with the neighbor, Ivy, but Bean resists. She believes Ivy is a prissy, academic, dress-wearing girl that she has no interest in knowing.
One afternoon, while implementing an elaborate scheme to annoy her sister, Bean finds she needs help. Ivy, the unwelcome friend, comes to her aid. They discover they are indeed very different. They also discover that each has misjudged the other. In the end, what they learn is that they are a perfect match because of their differences.
Whether your reader is prissy or tough, I would suggest this early chapter book. It is well-written and respects the beginning reader that is anxious to move on to a more challenging read. Good Luck!