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.