Ivy and Bean No News is Good News: Book 8 Paperback – Jun 20 2012
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One of the funniest young chapter book series around." The Horn Book" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
When she was a kid, Annie Barrows never once went to camp. She never took any classes. She never played a sport. She wasn't a Girl Scout. What a weirdo. She lives in Berkeley, California.
Sophie Blackall is an Australian illustrator whose work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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What I found to be fascinating was that the plot for each story is so well-written and developed that my daughter could not stop once she started reading! I usually sit with her and supervise her reading, helping out with some difficult words, and she gets so involved with the story that she just keeps on reading. This to me is the mark of a good book, one that entices a young reader to keep reading. The language is not overly simplified, on the contrary, there are some challenging words which I help my daughter with (pronunciation and definition, if necessary).
The black and white illustrations by Sophie Blacksall that appear in each chapter add to the appeal of these books. In this latest installment, Ivy and Bean are envious of their classmates who all appear to have the coveted ball of cheese in the red wax packaging. The children use the piece of wax to make all sorts of things like 'boogers',mustaches, etc. When Bean's mom refuses to buy the cheese because it is too expensive, the girls devise a scheme to earn money on their own so that they can buy the cheese themselves. Their half-baked schemes are so creative and funny that I could not help laughing as my daughter read the story out loud night after night. What will the girls think of next and will it work? This is another winner in the Ivy and Bean series.
As usual, we have an entertaining story, but my concerns boil down to the fact that the girls engage in inappropriate behavior (all in fun), and then they don't suffer any consequences for their bad decisions.
I like that the girls were willing to do some work to earn money. With a suggestion from Bean's father, they decided to sell subscriptions to a neighborhood newsletter. Unfortunately, I was quickly disappointed when they tried to weasel out of actually writing the newsletter - after already having collected the money!
Bean's father gets them back on track, but in order for them to collect "news" for their newsletter, they basically trespass and spy on people in their own homes. They completely violate the privacy of others, and when the neighbors see the newsletter, adults and children come to Bean's house to complain.
Yes, I can see the humor in the resulting newsletter, but I would have preferred seeing a satisfying moral ending along with the funny outcome. The girls weren't acting maliciously, so punishment wasn't necessary, but they still should have had to apologize to the neighbors for spying, making up stories, exaggerating, and violating their privacy. They didn't, and there is no lesson learned, no remorse. Instead, they actually get rewarded with more money.
Like other books in this series, this one also includes name-calling.
This has got to be one of my absolute favorite chapter book series ever! Annie Barrows understands kids so completely well that it has me second guessing her age; certainly she must still be ten years old? That's probably not true, but what is true is the fact that each one of the Ivy and Bean books will have you in stitches while remembering either your own childhood or imagining your own children doing some of the whacky things that kids just do. Not only adults love this series, but kiddos absolutely relate even at a very very young age. This was the first book in the series that I've read with daughter and at only two and a half she loved every minute of it.
In this edition of Ivy and Bean, Non News is Good News, the pair are on a mission to get that waxy stuff around the outside of certain cheeses. At first they start off by simply asking their parents who both tell them no and advise them they need to buy their own. One of my favorite scenes was when Ivy tries to tell her mom to get the cheese for her while she's sleeping. I couldn't help but imagine the Turkeybird and Littlebug doing that at Ivy's age, it's hilarious! Eventually the girls discover that they could actually make money by working (even if that's not their original intention). Their newspaper, The Flipping Pancake, comes together after snooping around the neighborhood in search of the next great news story. At the end of it all, though Ivy and Bean's neighbors may be a little put out by their "dirty laundry" being shared it's certain that the pair learns a little bit about the importance of earning something through hard work.
No News is Good News is absolutely right. Ivy and Bean, on their mission for cheese, discover that maybe the lives of their neighbors are better left behind closed doors and windows. Fortunately though they also discover that hard work does pay off when they are finally able to enjoy their delicious low-fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for you serving size and the pliable wax that surrounds it. This is a series I've thoroughly enjoyed and one I'm eager to read through with both my kiddos as they continue to grow up and do the hilarious things that only kids do. Annie Barrows coupled with Sophie Blackall's fantastic illustrations make for one of the most superb children's book series out there.
My original review was posted at There's A Book.
Barrows clearly hasn't lost her feel for what it's like to be a child. She understands the yearning the girls have to get their hands on that wax. When their parents refuse to buy them the treats, the girls decide to earn money and buy their own. Bean's father mentions that when he was a boy he wrote a newspaper and sold subscriptions. Ivy and Bean are off and running.
The newspaper they produce, The Flipping Pancake, has more in common with the National Enquirer than the New York Times. The two friends spy on their neighbors in order to get the real scoop on what's happening on Pancake Court. They even print a nudie photo of a neighbor (as a baby). Of course, eventually the neighbors receive their copies of the scandal sheet. As revenge comes a-knockin', Ivy and Bean put their heads together and come up with a solution that allows them to escape harm. Hint: It involves cheese rind.
No News Is Good News is another hilarious triumph for Barrows. Young readers will keep flipping the pages to find out what new plan the girls come up with next. Sophie Blackall's delightful illustrations add to the fun.
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