Did you have a best friend growing up? Someone with whom you could waste hundreds of glorious hours? If so, then you will certainly relate to the wonderful Ivy and Bean from this best-selling series.
If you haven’t met them, here’s a good intro from the Ivy and Bean website: “The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn’t be friends.” You can guess how that turns out!
Ivy and Bean books are great for early readers, especially girls, and they're fun for parents to read, too, either as a read-aloud, or just to get some info so you can talk with your kids about them.
When your daughter slips the bookmark in her copy and goes to turn off the light, you could snuggle up next to her and talk about your own childhood friends. Did you do anything like Ivy and Bean? Does your daughter have a best friend? Ask her if they ever do anything like Ivy and Bean. I always find bedtime is the best time for confidence-inducing conversations.
These books are great for me right now because we just moved to a new house. The Wizard of Why is nervous about making new friends. He’s still at an age where he doesn’t mind if the books are about girls or boys, and I can’t wait to unpack my copy of Ivy and Bean and read it to him. He’s going to love the story. Of course, the prime audience for these books is early readers, and probably girl early readers at that, but there’s no rule that says you have to stick to that! Because the Ivy and Bean series starts out with two neighborhood girls who meet, it’s great for families who are moving.
One thing I’ve done with my son is talk to him about how I will be making new friends, too. This week we tried out a new playgroup (our first one actually; I’ve never done one before) and I told him how he might find some new kid friends and I might find some new mom friends. And judging by the way he was rolling around in the grass in a middle of a pile of 4-year-old boys while I gabbed on about working and staying at home, I think we both did.
Of course, we can overload our little ones if we tell them too much. They need to know that we are the rock, that we are always there. But we can also model for them, show them that we also have things to deal with in life — like making new friends — and show them how it isn’t scary, but something exciting, and that most importantly, it is a challenge with a solution. Reading and discussing books are often a great way to do that.
Ivy and Bean are getting ready to release their 9th book. And I am helping them count down the weeks until it comes! With free books for you! Follow this link to find out how to enter my contest to win Ivy and Bean books.
About the Author:
Wendy Lawrence is a Seattle native who is now living with her husband and two young sons in Ann Arbor, Mich. A longtime educator and former middle school head at Eastside Prep in Kirkland, she now blogs about parenting and books at The Family That Reads Together.