Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go, by Annie Barrows

Ivy and Bean are back, and this time, they...mean...BUSINESS.

Okay, that might be an exaggeration. But at least they're back. My daughter was very excited to have another Ivy and Bean book to read, and I was fairly excited to read it to her. Since we ended up reading it concurrent with Bubble and Squeak, the most horrifying book known to man, I came to appreciate this Ivy and Bean book even more.

One day Ivy and Bean notice a strange reflection on the floor of the girls' bathroom. Ivy explains it as the effect of a ghost, and says the bathroom needs a bit of an exorcism (although she doesn't call it that).

This book had exactly the right amount of scariness for my daughter, which is to say, it had nearly no scariness at all. The ghostiness was all non-haunting and non-threatening, and it is strongly suggested throughout the book that the ghost is just something Ivy made up. Even so, I don't remember there being a non-ghost explanation for the reflection at the end of the book.

The most annoying thing about the book was the teacher's name: Ms. Aruba-Tate. I couldn't bring myself to say it, so I would say, "Ms.," and my kids would say, "Aruba-Tate." And this lady's name came up frequently, let me tell you. Why couldn't she just be a non-hyphenated, non-unreal-last-named, non-feminist-empowered woman, like a Miss Atkinson or a Mrs. Johannsen?

Like Katie Kazoo, Junie B. Jones, and Judy Moody, my daughter has moved on without me, having read the third Ivy and Bean book on her own. She tells me it is good, however, and will shortly be starting the fourth.

Rating: 5.5 out of 7 giant inflatable monkeys.

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