GIVEAWAYS / OWTK KidLit + Comics

Kids Book Review & Giveaway: Ivy & Bean Book 7 – What’s The Big Idea?

OWTK is excited to be a stop on the Ivy & Bean Fall 2010 Blog Book Tour.  The tour is, essentially, a collection of kid-lit bloggers who have collaborated to cover the much anticipated release of book 7 in the wildly popular Ivy & Bean series.  Aside from a copy of the book, OWTK is not being compensated for this.  Although I’d graciously accept a 2010 tour t-shirt.

IVY & BEAN “What’s the Big Idea”
by Annie Barrows + Sophie Blackall

The Ivy & Bean franchise takes on global warming, and wins.

I’m as dreadfully tired of the “going green” plot lines creeping into children’s literature and music as I am the “All Natural/Earth Friendly” labels on food & merchandise that just last week seemed to be devoid of such claims.  It all screams scam and is likely nothing more than a money grab by multi-national corporations who don’t honestly care about the cause, just about the dollars available in an emerging demographic of consumer.  It’s a mockery of true environmental efforts to think that we can overcome serious problems by simply purchasing more crap.  All that said, if anyone can tackle ‘going green’ with levity and an honest, down-to-earth realism in the hands and mind of children, it’s Annie Barrows and her delightful pair of 7-year old girls Ivy & Bean.

Things I like about the Ivy & Bean approach to presenting an environmental message in “What’s the Big Idea?”:

  • The apathetic 5th-graders responsible for kickstarting Ivy & Bean’s 2nd grade class’s interest in the topic of global warming: Such a hilarious portrait of the too-cool stage of a child’s development; the one bridging the gap between wide-eyed wonderment and the discovering of one’s true self separate from what is or is not deemed cool.
  • The abject disappointment that pushes the 2nd graders into action: that the class wasn’t pressed into caring by a teacher directly, or any adult really, makes “What’s the Big Idea?” work so well.  Otherwise, it’d be just another author using her characters as a bully pulpit to hammer home their cause de celebre.
  • Ms. Aruba-Tate’s (Ivy & Bean’s teacher) comparison of idea-rich youngsters with curious-minded scientists and thinkers currently trying to solve major problems like global warming: a sturdy comparison that might just inspire youngsters.
  • The absurdity of the kid’s global warming-solving ideas (tossing ice cubes in the air while bouncing on a trampoline & holding your breath to reduce carbon dioxide, to name just a couple): this kind of levity is classic Ivy & Bean – totally spot-on truisms from the imaginations of 6-8 year old kids.
  • The book admits that a 2nd-grader’s idea isn’t likely going to change the world but trying is never, ever a bad thing.  Also, “What’s the Big Idea?” presents the notion that a 2nd-grader who doesn’t care and has zero creative ideas may grow into an adult who is the same.
  • Ivy & Bean’s (big) idea is kinda brilliant: It’s so simple, 100% free, and requires no work (literally).

Despite being big fans of the Ivy & Bean series, I did approach book 7 with trepidation.  But, in the end, “What’s The Big Idea?” is my favorite volume yet because it’s as subtle a work on the topic of ‘going green’ as I’ve ever read.  It’s never once preachy and is always hilarious.

Maybe kids can’t save THE world, but they may just save OUR world by saving us from the monotony of everyday life.  “What’s the Big Idea?” continues to prove that Ivy & Bean is a book series every 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade girl needs to be reading.

Sample Ivy and Bean: What’s the Big Idea? Book 7

*******IVY & BEAN BOOK 7 GIVEAWAY*******

One (1) lucky reader is gonna win a copy of Ivy & Bean “What’s The Big Idea?”.  To enter, simply comment on this post, follow OWTK on Twitter then tweet about this giveaway, and/or become a Fan of OWTK on Facebook.  That’s 3 separate possible entry methods (please leave separate comments alerting me of your Facebook fandom and Twitter Followership – thanks).  The giveaway is open to folks in the U.S. and Canada only and will run until 11:59pm ET on December 7th 2010.

*A copy of Ivy & Bean Book 7 was provided to OWTK.  The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased.  No arm-twisting took place in the review process.

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