Over the past couple of years, my daughters have been fond of a book series called Ivy and Bean. They've advanced pretty far in the series...they've read at least five, possibly more. There are ten in the series so far.
Usually I'll read something before my daughters do, so I can make sure it's appropriate, but this was a series recommended for my oldest daughter by a teacher friend, so I didn't feel a pressing need to read the books before the girls.
But I was curious what the books were like.
So on Friday night, I read through the first book in the series.
At the risk of continuing my label as a guy who likes everything, I liked Ivy and Bean.
First of all, I love origin stories, whatever the situation. And this book is all about how the two main characters meet.
And how they meet is cute - it's a story of a friendship that blossoms and how first impressions can be misleading, and how you can't judge a book by its cover, and all that good advice.
It's also appropriately silly for 7-year-olds (or 5-year-olds, since my middle daughter is quite the reader)...and quite possibly 35-year-olds as well. I found some of the silliness amusing.
The books are written by Annie Barrows. She has a website all about the books, and apparently there are Ivy and Bean plays and such out there as well. She definitely knows her audience. Like the books, the website caters to a certain age group who enjoys silliness.
I would imagine, despite the two female protagonists, that boys would enjoy the Ivy and Bean series, too. But it's probably hard to get them interested because of the two title character girls.
Either way, if you have a first grader and you're looking for a book series to catch their interest, this is probably a good place to start.
The books are chapter books, too - so with short chapters they make for good bedtime story reading.
Which, if you're a 35-year-old man, is a great way to continue reading the series under the guise of "just reading it to your daughters."