Ivy and Bean 7, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


It's the Science Fair! Some kids are making man-eating robots. Some kids are holding their breath for a very, very long time.

Some kids are doing interesting things with vacuum cleaners.

The theme, obviously, is global warming. But what should Ivy and Bean do? Something with explosions? Or ropes? Something with ice cubes? Or maybe...maybe something different.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 132 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9781452102368



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A group of fifth-graders present a talk on global warming to the students in Ms. Aruba-Tate's second-grade class in this seventh installment of author Annie Barrows and illustrator Sophie Blackall's series of beginning chapter-books devoted to the (mis)adventures of best friends Ivy and Bean, and the entire group is thrown into despair. What will the animals of the world - especially the polar bears - do, as their habitats shrink? And how can it be that it is humans who are responsible for such destruction? Their teacher, learning of these feelings, suggests that they each devote their Science Fair project to a possible solution to the problem. And so Ivy and Bean, after a number of false starts involving pounding rice, tossing ice cubes, and tying themselves up, hit upon an idea that might just be the beginning of a solution...As with the other installments in this ongoing primary school saga, I found the story of <u>Ivy + Bean: What's the Big Idea</u> entertaining, and the artwork charming. Barrows does a good job presenting the basic idea of global warming, without getting into too many specifics, and offers a sensitive portrayal of how young children might react to that idea. Although I understand why one fellow reviewer found this title a little less than informative, on the topic - I don't think there ever is a very clear explanation of global warming, or its causes, in the story itself - I think this rather misses the point. Young children often hear stories - through their peers, at school, overheard on the news - that they don't fully understand, but whose import they fully grasp. A child doesn't need to understand all the complexities of global warming, to know that it is a serious problem, or to feel afraid - and it is this, I think, that Barrows is addressing with her story. For those who want more details, there is an informative non-fiction afterword that provides them.In sum: a satisfactory addition to the series. Not my personal favorite, of the lot, but it will still have appeal for young readers who are fans of Ivy and Bean, as well as for those looking for children's stories that address the theme of global warming.