Ivy + Bean: Doomed to Dance by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall (Illus.)

Normally, I don’t review children’s books here on the blog, but I’ve made an exception (yes, they do happen).  I remember buying a set of Ivy + Bean books for The Girl from Diary of an Eccentric because one of the books had to do with dinosaur fossils and I had read on someone’s blog (not sure who) that these books were fantastic.  The Girl, suffice to say, loved them and told me all about the straws up the nose (actually it’s the mouth) and other little tidbits from her books.  Before I dazzle you with my review, interview with The Girl, and the giveaway, let me show you a little video:

Ivy and Bean are typical second-grade girls who are willing to try just about anything, and they sometimes find themselves getting into trouble or at least over their heads.  In Doomed to Dance, the girls read a book about ballet and decide that they should take ballet, so they can become ballerinas in Giselle.  The only problem is that ballet is not as fun or easy as it seems.

“‘She doesn’t leap like a kitty.  She leaps like a frog,’ Bean whispered to Ivy.”  (Page 24)
“‘We can’t be squids if we break our arms,’ said Ivy.  ‘Remember what Madame Joy said? We’re supposed to wave our tentacles gently to the passing tide.  No way can we do that if we’ve got broken arms, Right?'”  (Page 40)

While Ivy and Bean get into trouble — and what kid doesn’t? — they always manage to find the positive in their situation or make amends.  Some of the funniest scenes in this book are when Ivy and Bean try to get sick on purpose, having other kids cough and sneeze all over them.  Young readers will laugh out loud at the antics of these young girls, and parents will enjoy these books because of the lessons they teach about responsibility and imagination.  Ivy + Bean:  Doomed to Dance is a fun read at nearly 130 pages, and these characters will worm their way into kids hearts easily.

Onto my interview with The Girl:

Which girl would you rather be, Ivy or Bean?  And why?

I would you like to be Bean because she is funniest.

Why do you think Bean packed salt in her backpack before they went to the aquarium?

Because you need salt to stay alive and helps the blood flow.

What would you have packed in your backpack for the aquarium trip?

I would pack clothes, food like sandwiches, water, juice, and ice pack.   If there is still room, I would take some small books.

Would you ever take ballet? Why or why not? What type of dancing would you take?

No, because I’m not into ballet.  I would take tap dancing because the noise from the shoes is cool, and it looks like fun.  You have to have skills for it, and I have skills.

Which of the Ivy + Bean books have you enjoyed most?

The book with the ghosts — The Ghost that Had to Go, Book 2.  Break the Fossil Record, Book 3.

To learn more about the series, check out the Website.  If you’re looking for crafts and fun activities, go here.

To enter the giveaway for 1 copy of Ivy + Bean:  Doomed to Dance (US/Canada):

1.  Leave a comment here about why you want to win the book.
2.  Become a follower and leave a comment here for another entry.
3.  Tweet, blog, spread the word and leave a comment here with a link.

Deadline Dec. 28, 2009, 11:59 PM EST.

FTC Disclosure:  I want to thank Chronicle Books for sending me a free copy of Doomed to Dance for review.  Clicking on title and image links will go to my Amazon.com Affiliate page; No purchase necessary.


  1. […] some time to snuggle on the couch and read.  The Girl jumped at the chance to be included in her Auntie Serena’s tour post for Ivy + Bean:  Doomed to Dance written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, and […]