Irresistible 7-year-old protagonists Ivy and Bean are back for their 11th outing after a long break.
The girls take up where they left off years ago, still participating in the type of childhood adventures that are both realistic and yet so whimsical that storytellers often overlook them. Ivy, the (slightly) quieter of the pair, decides that because she’s an only child, she’s in great danger of becoming spoiled. Extreme generosity—trying to give away lots of her clothes—backfires. Instead, she and ever ebullient Bean decide to try to bring to life a baby doll after Ivy’s mom pointedly refuses to provide a needed sister. When a cellphone charger they plug into the doll’s mouth doesn’t succeed in galvanizing her (but hilariously mimics the Frankenstein story), they try dancing and calling to the gods in the park—also not quite a success but surely a spectacle. Blackall’s numerous amusing black-and-white illustrations on nearly every page match perfectly with the spare, winsome text to make for an inviting presentation with plenty of good-humored action. Ivy and Bean present white, and their classmates are diverse. Short chapters, ample white space, and smart, interesting dialogue all combine to make this an easy choice for those newly transitioned to chapter books.
Welcome back, Ivy and Bean! (Fiction. 6-9)