Opposites attract in this simple series about two very different seven year old girls who become fast friends. Bean’s boyish and adventuresome temperament balks when her mother suggests she play with the new girl across the street. How could anyone as bookish and girly as Ivy be anything but boring? Bean learns, however, that excitement comes in many forms when Ivy helps her play a trick on her bossy older sister Nancy. Bean and Ivy soon discover that their opposing personalities mean twice as much fun when they work and play together. Little girls can learn how deceptive appearances can be from these introductory chapter books.
Unfortunately, Bean’s rudeness, bathroom humor and overly familiar attitude towards adults are less than exemplary. Only parents can determine if the healthy message about friendship outweighs the “up-to-date” demeanor of the story’s characters. Carolyn Haywood’s “Betsy Books” can provide an alternative series for girls of this age.
Jennifer Minicus lives in Ridgewood, NJ. Her love for the formation of young people inspired her interest in children’s literature.