Ivy and the Meanstalk Hardcover – Oct 1 2011
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About the Author
Dawn Lairamore lives in northern California, where she works as a paralegal. In a starred review of her first book, Ivy's Ever After, School Library Journal wrote, "A fun and entertaining fairy-tale-based fantasy with a nice balance of character development and action," and Kirkus Reviews predicted, "This fractured fairy tale will delight tween readers."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In Ivy and the Meanstalk, the two set off to rescue Toadstool, only to discover a giantess who is intent on recovering her golden harp, stolen by Jack and whisked away generations ago. Largessa threatens to destroy the kingdom of Ardendale if Ivy and Eldridge don't return the harp within a week.
This new story takes the princess and her friendly dragon on a journey across the sea to Jacktopia, where a big-headed Jack set himself up as ruler long ago. Every king in the land since then is intent on increasing his kingdom's wealth and showing off an abundance of gold.
Ivy has her work cut out for her, but she's got the assistance of Eldridge, Owen, and One-Oh-Three, an overprotected prince who wants to have a little more freedom. They work together to win what Ivy needs and what One-Oh-Three hopes for.
Ivy and the Meanstalk continues the fun from the first book with author Lairamore imagining the aftermath of Jack and Beanstalk. Instead of the hero he portrayed himself as, Jack is revealed as a less-than-ethical character who thought only of himself. Mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 8 to 12 will enjoy reading it as well as discussing some of the issues touched on, including how historical events may be viewed differently by various people affected, the ethics of stealing something to avert a tragedy, and the wisdom of seeking revenge on someone who has made you mad.
We return to Ardendale for the wedding of Ivy's fairy godmother Drusilla to the gatekeeper, Boggs. What appears to be a day full of fun quickly turns sour as an unexpected visitor's gift of a necklace turns out to be beans--magic beans! When a huge meanstalk shoots to the sky it takes with it Drusilla's pixie goat Toadstool leaving the fairy in horror. Ivy and Eldridge, her dragon friend, volunteer to go looking for Toadstool. They find a giantess named Largessa who has been suffering from insomnia for 400 years after Jack stole her magic harp. Ivy is given an ultimatum by the giantess -- return with the harp in five days, or her kingdom will be destroyed.
With the help of Eldridge and the stableboy Owen, Ivy takes off to the land of Jacktopia to find the magic harp. Plenty of obstacles stand in her way, but with plenty of spunk and determination the princess doesn't give up.
This book was a charming, delightful read. Fans of Gail Carson Levine books will love the two Ivy books! I read through this book so quickly because it just hummed right along, the pacing was brilliant and the characters so much fun to read.
Ivy is fearless and pretty much unstoppable in her quest for the harp. She is quick on her feet and uses her persuasion to get things done. Ivy also relies on her dragon friend, Elridge, who is very wise. These two make a great team and it was fun to root for them.
Ivy's journey leads her to Jackitopia, the kingdom across the sea that Jack created many years ago. Jackitopia is as self-serving as the name implies. Jack passed away many years ago, but his long line of male descendants are all named Jack. They are up to Jack 103 now! Oh, and the girls are all named Jaclyn. It's pretty funny. The hens still lay golden eggs and everyone in Jackitopia is obsessed with gold.
Ivy and the Meanstalk is an entertaining book that is great for middle graders. I enjoyed reading about the imaginary world that Dawn Lairamore created.
What a great cover! There's Ivy riding on Elridge next to the giant beanstalk. I like the muted colors and the old-fashioned title font.
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