Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ivy & Bean (and US/Canada Giveaway)

Ivy & Bean
Book 6: Doomed to Dance
by Annie Barrows
136 pages

*** About the Book ***

Ivy & Bean are two 2nd grade girls who don't have much in common but who have become best friends. In this book, their 6th, the girls convince their parents to let them take ballet lessons. As usual, things don't turn out the way the girls expected and now they will do just about anything to get out of ballet. Throw in a trip to the local aquarium (and some great illustrations) and you've got the latest Ivy & Bean adventure!

*** Why I Read This Book ***

Regular readers of my blog are probably scratching their heads and saying "You don't have any daughters and you don't usually read children's books, so what's up with this review?!"

Here's the deal ... Back when I read THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY I found out that the co-author of that book, Annie Barrows (interviewed here), also writes a children's series called Ivy & Bean. I checked out the website for the series and found this:
One of the big problems of being a kid is that your parents often try to make you play with people you don’t really like. My parents were forever trying to get me to like the kids of their friends. These kids were often weird. I didn’t want to play with them. It was a problem.
Oh yes, THAT was my life as a kid. How true, how true!

When the opportunity to review the new Ivy & Bean book as part of the Official Blog Tour came up, I jumped at the chance to snag a copy for myself. I figured it would be a fun and easy trip into my childhood ... and who knows, Kiddo might just enjoy it as well!

*** My Thoughts ***

I started reading this book just hours after it arrived in the mail. After the first few chapters, I stopped reading, got Kiddo, and started reading aloud from the beginning - THAT is how much fun I was having with it.

This book is adorable. It is smart, and fun, and perfect for little girls. I laughed out loud several times and had a smile on my face the whole way through. This series would make a great addition to any young girl's book shelf ... and moms and dads will enjoy reading along as well.

The reason I decided to read this to Kiddo, even though he is a boy, is that much of the story centers around a trip to the aquarium, and that is Kiddo's favorite place in the world. He really got a kick out of this book but not always for the right reasons ...

*** Kiddo's Thoughts ***

Spoiler warning: My recap of Kiddo's thoughts will include some minor spoilers, so be warned.

Kiddo wasn't so impressed with the idea of ballet, but the concept of dancing someone to death (which is the reason the girls sign up for ballet to begin with) sounded good to him. He is, after all, an Irish Step Dancer, so dancing is not a foreign idea to him. Still, he wouldn't have gotten into this story at all if it were not for the girls' visit to the aquarium.

At the aquarium the girls get a bit freaked out by the deep sea fish in one very dark room. Kiddo on the other hand was naming the fish that were scaring the girls. A bit later Ivy & Bean see a video of a giant squid swimming right at them and they run away screaming, afraid that the squid wants to eat them. Kiddo thought the girls were crazy. "Squid's are cool, not scary" he said. "Maybe it just wanted to play with them." HA!

There's a part in the book where the girls are in art class and they are using a dead fish to make "fish prints" with paint. Bean thought this activity was lots of fun. Kiddo said he would do it because he doesn't want to touch a dead fish. But "I would like to pet a squid though," he told me.

So, yeah, this book was lots of fun to read to Kiddo ... but not, I'm sure, for the reasons intended by the author.

*** Giveaway ***

I have one copy of this book to give away to a lucky reader in the US or Canada (sorry, this one isn't worldwide, per the publicist).

To enter this contest ...
  • Leave a comment letting me know if the kids your parents made you play with turned out to be your good friends in the end. Or you can tell me who in your life you'd like to share this book with.
  • If your email address is not available through your profile or your blog, please include it in your comment.

  • The publisher is only shipping books to readers with a US or Canadian mailing address.

  • I'll choose the winner on Friday morning (12/4) so be sure to get your comment posted before then.
Good luck, and happy reading!


bermudaonion said...

I don't remember my parents ever making me play with anyone. I would share this book with a darling little girl who lives down the street from us. milou2ster(at)

Britt said...

I'm been really curious about these. I think Boo would like them. Sounds cute.

schriftstellarin (@)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to share the book with my niece.
wins4kimmy at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I too loved The Guernsey Literary...Society - one of my all-time favorite books. Ivy and Bean sound wonderful and I'd love to share this book with my niece who loves to read and is 8 years old. Thanks for the giveaway.


Jonnie (JB) said...

The only kids I remember being made to play with were cousins and I would share this book with my sons friend and her sisters.

Lynz Pickles said...

My cousin's daughter is in love with the Ivy and Bean books. She made me read them and I found that I like them too! I'd love to share the latest one with her.

Nancye said...

I would share this book with my 6 year old daughter who is an avid reader and huge fan of Ivy and Bean. Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Ti said...

My parents never made me play with anyone but if I won this book I would share it with my daughter!

Jan said...

My parents made me play with someone I really didn't like at all ... my sister! Fortunately, we finally like each other, so I guess my parents were right after all. I would love to share this book with my granddaughter.


April Hawkins said...

My parents were very close to our neighbors (still are close). They made me play with their daughter constantly. She and I never quite saw eye-to-eye. I was a very "ugly duckling" of sorts and was constantly picked on by her and her friends. As adults, it continued until we both had children. Now we are friends and talk often. I would love to share this book with my daughter- she loves to read.

Sue said...

My seven year old niece would love this (but she might have to wait for me to read it first). My parents always encouraged me to play nice, but never made me play with anyone. Thanks for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

My mom would set up playdates with the next door neighbors daughter and till this day we are BFF's. I consider her mom my 2nd mom, and she was my maid of honor when I got married. Our families even vacation together. I would love to share this with my daughter.


Anonymous said...

I would be sharing this book with a little second grader that I tutor. She's an excellent reader but does not tend to find it exciting. I believe this book/ series is fun and will inspire her to use her reading talent. Thanks, Stacy

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