Title: Ivy + Bean
Author: Annie Barrows
Series: Ivy + Bean
Recommended for: 1st thru 3rd grade
Call Number/Link: J BAR
Synopsis: 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 quickly, 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.
I am always recommending this series to younger girls so I decided I should actually read the first book. Novelist places the recommended ages for this book at 9-12. I believe it should be younger since Ivy and Bean are 7 years old, and the vocabulary is not too difficult for a higher reading 1st grader. It would work well as a read-aloud for a parent to read to kindergarteners on up.
I thought the premise in this first book of the series was cute. Ivy moves in across the street from Bean, but Bean has no interest in meeting Ivy because she seems like she would be boring. She is always reading and wears dresses all the time. Bean, a.k.a. Bernice, is a tomboy at heart, and only wears a dress when her mother makes her do so. Circumstances throw them together and they find out that they make a very good team. I appreciated the fact that Ivy came out to sit on her porch with a robe and a wand. As an adult, I recognized the nod to Harry Potter, although the book never mentioned were she got the idea to be a witch and use a wand and cast spells. I will continue to recommend this series for younger girls.