Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series)

Marshmallow loved all ten of the Ivy + Bean books written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophia Blackhall when she first read them. She even reviewed one of her favorites for the Book Bunnies blog: you can check out her review of Book 9: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules. So when she heard last year that there would be an eleventh book, she just could not wait to get her paws on a copy. Today she reviews this eleventh book in the series: One Big Happy Family.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).
Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoyed Annie Barrow and Sophia Blackhall’s Ivy and Bean series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Ivy is worried that she is becoming spoiled. Her classmate Vanessa says that only children are usually spoiled and she implies that Ivy is spoiled. Ivy starts to believe that she is spoiled so she and her best friend, Bean, search for a way for her to become unspoiled.

Ivy first tries giving away a lot of clothes at school, but then she gets in trouble and has to take them back. Then Ivy and Bean try to find a different way to “unspoil” Ivy. They realize that if it is only children that are supposed to be spoiled, then if Ivy is no longer an only child then she won’t be spoiled. Therefore, they ask Ivy’s mom to have a child, and when she says no, they try to find a different way to get a sibling for Ivy. For example they try asking the gods for help and bringing one of Ivy’s dolls to life. None of these ways works. They even tie their hands together thinking that their skin will grow together and make them conjoined twins. But then they will have to decide whose house to stay at. Ivy wants to rotate, but Bean wants to stay at her house. After some time being “conjoined twins” they decide that it is a bad idea.

Ivy continues to look for a way to be “unspoiled”. Read the book to find out!

Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy's yoga session.
Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy’s yoga session.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a really funny book, a great followup to all the other Ivy + Bean books that have entertained many young readers.

These books all have many characters that are relatable and funny. Ivy and Bean are funny to read about because they always have funny ideas, like when they think that they can become conjoined twins by tying their arms together, their whole theory being that when their skin grew it would grow together and they would be joined forever. Another weird idea of theirs is that by eating “brainfood” (strange combinations of foods), they will think unusual thoughts, helping them brainstorm ideas of how to “unspoil” Ivy.

This is a very good book for children of ages 5 and up. It is funny and the problems the kids are worried about are very funny and young bunnies can even see themselves in similar situations.

This is one of the few books in a series that I have reviewed that you could read without reading the earlier books. Still I think reading all the Ivy and Bean books would be good because they are all really fun!

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean Make the Rules by Annie Barrows (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean Series)

Marshmallow has enjoyed reading the Ivy + Bean series written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall for a few years now. Below she shares some thoughts on the ninth book and her favorite in the series: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking some followup questions.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Sprinkles: You wanted to talk about Ivy and Bean today, right, Marshmallow?

Marshmallow: Yes. 

S: So what do you want to tell us about these books? 

M: I like reading these books. I also like the fact that Ivy and Bean actually think like kids, and Bean has reactions that I can relate to. Some books are about kids but the characters in them do not always behave or think like kids. Bean and Ivy are a lot more real, a lot more like kids. 

S: So then tell us a bit about Ivy and Bean. Who are they? 

M: Bean is a girl who has an annoying older sister. 

S: So kind of like Ramona the Pest, no?

M: No, not quite. Ramona’s sister is annoying in a different way. But honestly, I have no experience about having an annoying big sister. Anyways, Bean is a little wild, she is sometimes herself annoying. 

S: And what about Ivy?

M: Ivy is an only child, and she is a bit calmer, and she is smarter. She also wants to be a witch when she grows up.

S: That sounds like a good match. So how old are they?

M: They’re about seven years old. 

S: So do you think this book series would be a good fit for new readers of age 5-7? 

M: Yes. 

S: And you are still reading them too. What can big kids get out of these books?

M: The books are really funny, and they make me laugh.

S: Even though you have read them several times before. I read them too and I remember them as being really funny. The girls sometimes come up with ridiculous ideas. So tell us about what happens in the ninth book of the series, Ivy and Bean Make the Rules

M: It’s about how Bean’s sister Nancy is going to this camp called Girl Power 4Ever, and Bean wants to go but she doesn’t want Nancy to know. And she can’t go anyways, you have to be 11 to go. Then she decides to build a tree house. She can’t though, because she doesn’t have nails. And then she uses duct tape. 

Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where Bean is planning to make her tree house.
Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where Bean is planning to make her tree house.

S: That sounds hilarious. So when does Ivy come into the picture?

M: She sneaks up on Bean as Bean is working on her tree house. Then Bean decides her tree house is stupid and wants to do nature study and crafts. Ivy says we can make our own camp, and so they do. 

S: Ok, so they decide to start their own camp. How does that go?

M: They go spy on Nancy’s camp to get some ideas, and they find some kids, and they start doing some crafts and some more absurd stuff. They also set some silly rules. 

S: What kinds of rules?

M: Let me find some for you from the book:

“Rule number one!” said Bean. “You can only have as much fun as you are willing to get hurt!”
“Rule two!” said Ivy. “Live and learn!” Her mother said that a lot. 
“Rule three!” yelled Bean. “The counselor is always right!”

S: None of this sounds like a very good idea. 

M: There are even more, look:

Ivy began to giggle. “Rule four! If you want to make an omelet, you’re going to have to break some eggs.”
“If you can’t beat’em, join’em!” bellowed Bean.
“Don’t get mad, get even!” yelled Ivy. 
“I don’t think this is a real camp,” said Frannie. 

Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where the two girls are listing the rules of their camp, Camp Flaming Arrow.
Marshmallow is pointing at the pages in Ivy and Bean Make the Rules where the two girls are listing the rules of their camp, Camp Flaming Arrow.

S: These sound quite random and not terribly safe. 

M: They are not great rules to follow, like the fifth rule is not quite a good idea: “Don’t get mad, get even.”

S: Well, Caramel reviewed a book about training an angry dragon, so maybe they should have read that book! Getting mad is not very helpful is it? Ok, what else do you want to say about this book? Why did you choose this one to talk about?

M: This is the funniest one of the ten. I like reading out some parts, they are so funny.

S: This is the ninth book, though. Do you think someone could jump in and read this one before reading the previous eight books? 

M: Sure, they can still enjoy it, but it might be better if they start from the beginning. If you do that, you know the past stories about how successful Ivy has been in becoming a witch for instance.

S: And that kind of knowledge about the characters’ back stories enriches the experience of reading this book, I agree. And it is about time to wrap up this review. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? 

M: Yes! Stay tuned for more Book Bunnies reviews.

Marshmallow continues to enjoy reading Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Marshmallow continues to enjoy reading Ivy and Bean Make the Rules (Book 9 of the Ivy + Bean series) written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.