My hilarious interview with Ivy and Bean

Saturday 13 October is International Ivy + Bean Day, when we celebrate two very cool characters created by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall.  Book shops and libraries all over the world (including here in New Zealand) are having special Ivy + Bean parties.  I’m hosting one in my library, with activities, games, giveaways and a reading of the latest Ivy + Bean story.  Here is Annie Barrows to tell you all about International Ivy + Bean Day:

I sat down with Ivy and Bean to ask them a few questions about their favourite things and what they like about each other.  Thanks for joining us Ivy and Bean!

  • How did the two of you meet?

Ivy: Bean was running away from home.

Bean: I had to run away from home. Because of Nancy. That’s my older sister.

Ivy: You had to run away from home because you wiggled your behind at Nancy.

Bean: But I wouldn’t have wiggled my behind at her if she hadn’t been trying to get me in trouble.

Ivy: But she wouldn’t have been trying to get you in trouble if you hadn’t taken her twenty dollars.

Bean: But I wouldn’t have taken her twenty dollars if she hadn’t been such a tightwad.

Ivy: So really, it was Nancy who helped us meet.

Bean: Sometimes Nancy’s okay.

  • What do you like best about your friend?

Bean: She can cross one eye without crossing the other.

Ivy: One time, Bean ate wood for a dollar.

  • Who is the most annoying person you know?

Ivy: There’s this girl named Nellie in the book I’m reading who’s really annoying. She says mean things about the main girl’s dog.

Bean: She’s not real. You can’t say she’s the most annoying person you know, because you don’t really know her.

Ivy: I know her. I’m reading about her.

Bean: But she’s not real. She’s in a book. You have to say someone real.

Ivy: You.

Bean: You.

  • What is your favourite food?

Bean: Syrup! Or doughnut holes! I love doughnut holes! I can stick four of them in my mouth at once and then I smash them flat between my tongue and the top of my mouth. It’s great!

Ivy: Chocolate mousse. I used to think it was made out of moose.

  • What do you want to do when you grow up?

Ivy: I’m going to be a witch.

Bean: I’m going to write the fortunes that go inside fortune cookies. Or be an arborist. I haven’t decided.

  • What is your most embarrassing moment?

Bean:  I don’t want to talk about it.  Sometimes, people are thinking about other stuff and aren’t paying attention every single little second and they don’t exactly see where they’re going and it’s not their fault.

Ivy: It could have happened to anyone. It probably does happen to almost everyone, but maybe not when twenty-six other kids are watching.

Bean: And their parents.

Ivy: Never mind.  They probably would have painted that part of the room over anyway.

  • What’s the craziest scheme you’ve ever come up with?

Ivy: Crazy?

Bean: Crazy?

Ivy: Do we do anything crazy?

Bean: Nah. He must be talking about someone else.

Ivy + Bean: No News is Good News by Annie Barrows

Working in a library you see the hundreds of fairy/princess/ballerina books that fill the shelves and that young girls borrow by the handful.  They’re all very much the same story, with different characters so kids fly through them.  It’s great when you discover a series for young girls that’s original and features quirky, memorable characters.  If you know girls who want a story that will make them laugh, about girls just like them, then the Ivy + Bean stories, written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, are perfect.  No News is Good News is the latest book in the series.

Ivy and Bean need some money.  Ten dollars to be exact.  Never mind what for.  Don’t even ask.  Okay.  It’s for cheese.  Two bags of low fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for-you serving size.  Don’t ask why.

But ten dollars is a lot of money.  How are Bean and Ivy going to make ten dollars?  Should they wash the car?  They’re not allowed to touch the car.  No.  Should they write a newspaper about their neighbours and sell it?  Great idea – and easy too!  Yes.  All Ivy and Bean have to do is snoop around Pancake Court and get some news.  It’s very interesting what you can find out if you look in your neighbours’ windows.  It’s even more interesting when the neighbours read about it in the newspaper.

No News is Good News is the 8th Ivy + Bean book, but the first one that I’ve read.  I loved it and I’m going to hunt down the other books in the series from my library!  If, like me, you haven’t met Ivy and Bean before, let me introduce them.  They’re two unlikely friends.  Bean is loud, wild and goofy and Ivy is quiet and full of ideas.  They’re complete opposites but they make a great team.  In their latest adventure, they need money to get their favourite cheese (or the wax on the outside of the cheese) so they have to come up with a scheme to get it.  After a very unsuccessful attempt to sell their flying potion, Bean’s dad suggests they make a newspaper.  That’s when all the trouble starts.  Little do their neighbours know that their secrets (and their bottoms) will feature in Ivy and Bean’s newspaper.

Ivy and Bean are quirky, funny, and mischievous.  They’re the sort of characters that girls will want to be like and will wish were their friends.  Like Ivy and Bean, Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall make a great team.  Sophie’s quirky illustrations go perfectly with Annie’s text and will really appeal to girls.

Get Ivy + Bean: No News is Good News from your library or bookshop now.  Once you’ve read one, you’ll be hooked!

Recommended for 7+

International Ivy + Bean Day is being celebrated around the world on Saturday 13 October.  We’re celebrating it at Christchurch City Libraries, and you can ask your library or bookshop to see if they are too.