Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ivy and Bean: No News Is Good News

Ivy and Bean: No News Is Good News

Annie Barrows
Illustrator:  Sophie Blackall 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Chronicle Books, 2011   ISBN: 978-0811866934

Schools are hot beds for fads, and a new fad has come to Ivy and Bean’s school. Everyone who is anyone has “lowfat Belldeloon in a special just-for-you serving size” cheese balls to eat at lunch. These round balls of cheese are coated in red wax, and the wax can be molded and shaped. It is the wax that makes the cheese balls such hot commodities.

Actually, everyone who is anyone except for Ivy and Bean have cheese balls. Ivy and Beans’ parents refuse to spend money on the cheese balls – they are ridiculously expensive  – and if the girls want to join the cheese ball fad train they are going to have to buy some with their own money. The problem is that they are both broke.

The girls decide that they are going to have to do something to make some money. They are not up for babysitting babies, and Bean does not want to sell any of the erasers in her collection. Then Ivy comes up with an idea. They can make witch’s potions to sell.

Now, people might consider this to be an odd idea, but Ivy has been “practicing to become a witch for a long time.” She has an impressive collection of ingredients for making potions, and she has lots of recipes for potions that will give people what they dream of having.

Unfortunately, even the promise of being able to fly does not convince potential customers to buy the potions that Ivy has for sale. The potions business is a bust.

Bean and Ivy are having a snack at Bean’s house when Bean’s dad comes in. They tell him about their problem and he tells them about how he made money washing cars, mowing the lawn, and doing other chores. Unfortunately, Bean does not have a good track record when it comes to doing such jobs. Dad also made money by writing a newspaper. He wrote about what was going on in his neighborhood and sold subscriptions to his neighbors. Best of all, people bought their subscription before the newspaper was even written.

Now this is an idea Bean can get behind, and soon the girls are going from door to door trying to sell subscriptions of The Flipping Pancake to the neighbors. It isn’t long before the girls have ten dollars, enough money to buy two little bags of Belldelloon cheese. All is right with the world. And then Bean’s dad reminds the girls that they have to create their newspaper. People paid for a subscription and they have to deliver.

This eighth book in the Ivy and Bean series brings readers another hilarious story that they will not be able to set aside until the last page is read. How can two girls get into such peculiar situations? It would seem that getting into trouble is their gift.