Ivy & Bean What's the Big Idea? (series #7)
What You Need to Know:|
• Ivy and Bean are, as always, engaging and imaginative.
• The author, Annie Barrows, does such a masterful job of creating a kids-eye view of adults. It's endlessly amusing
to kids and adults alike.
• This series, as a whole, is a stand-out in the early chapter book genre.
• There is a an obvious difference between Nancy, who is worried that people will see her, and Bean, who is worried
that people won’t see her, giving readers some indication of the changes that take place from ages 7 to 11.
Sweet Series Background:|
Ivy & Bean is the story of two very different friends who also happen to be very imaginative, quirky and entertaining characters. Whether in their neighborhood or at school, they find adventure and fun together, although they sometimes “forget” to listen or follow the rules and end up trying to find their way out of a mess. It is a great selection for those who have recently become comfortable reading on their own. The characters are funny, the storyline is easy to follow and the focus is on events and actions more than thoughts and feelings.
In the latest installment of this first-rate series, Ivy & Bean are learning about being "green". My favorite part of this series is the way the girls view how the adults see the world around them. The girls are always wondering: why can't the adults have any fun? Why do they like everything to be quiet? Why are they so tired all the time? There is a hilarious interchange between the girls and Ivy's mother, when the girls ask her to tie their hands together. She does so without blinking an eye or missing a keyboard strike on her computer.
Actually, the whole premise of this book is based on their view of what matters to adults. In school, the girls are given an assignment to do a project that furthers the cause of conservation and helps stop global warming. After a few failed but amusing attempts, the girls realize their project can be quite simple. If they can reconnect adults to nature, they will be more apt to care about it. The girls believe because adults have to worry about everything, they are forgetting how enjoyable a connection to the trees, grass and beauty around them can be. So the night of the science fair, the girls don't have a traditional project set up on one of the tables in the cafeteria. Instead, when the adults are done looking at all the other projects, the girls take all the adults outside and ask them to lay down on the grass and to "let go". The girls ask the adults to let them watch over them, so the adults are free to relax. It's a success as the adults get the "message" and three of them even fall asleep. There is an especially helpful appendix about why it's important to worry about global warming that I believe will help children better understand the whole idea. For them, it really breaks up the whole subject into easily digestible chunks.
2010, 128 pages
Family Life, Friendship, Imagination, Individuality, Environmentalism
• What is global warming?
• Do you worry about global warming?
• Why do we recycle?
• Do you recycle?
• How do you think kids can help this cause?
• How do you think adults can help this cause?
• What do you think will be different about our world when you are an adult?
• Do you think your mom or dad would tie your hands together without asking why?
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