It’s spring break, and Bean’s big sister, Nancy, is off to Monkey Park, where she’ll get to spend every day having secret, big-kid fun at Girl Power 4-Ever Camp for girls 11-14. Bean is 7.
No way is Bean attending Puppet Fun! She and Ivy can make their own fun. After a false start (one board does not a tree house make; some things are beyond even duct tape’s powers), Ivy has a brilliant idea, and Camp Flaming Arrow is born. When their moms let these small agents of chaos visit the park on their own, readers will know what to expect. Nancy’s camp offers Crafts, Dance and First Aid; so does Ivy and Bean’s—with a difference. Their friendship bracelets turn into chains binding Houdini hand and foot. Their tap dancing (stick thumbtacks into shoe soles, climb onto old metal wash tub and voilà!) is more fun than a silly old dance routine—louder anyway. Their First Aid, with the help of fake blood and bandages, morphs into a game of Zombies among the Puppet Fun kids. Quickly acquiring an enthusiastic following, the two inventive camp counselors give a whole new meaning to Girl Power. As usual, Blackall’s art conveys the girls’ anarchically imaginative glee, bringing the mischief and mayhem to messy, hilarious life.
Making the rules rules! (Fiction. 6-9)