I love reading books and so do my daughters. It is because right from their young age I started reading books aloud for them. My elder daughter 7+-year-old has started reading on her own small books and my younger one still reads the book looking at the pictures. So once I came across this book Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record, I was fascinated at the cover looking at two little girls at the age of 7 with their smiling face reminded me my two daughters. I purchased the book to read it for my kids. As usual, I just wanted to share my opinion about the book with you all.
Let me give you a brief intro about the author, then a short summary about the story, and then a few benefits of gifting the book to kids. Finally, I will share my honest review about the good, better and the bad allowing you to decide whether or not to buy this book.
Annie Barrows born and raised in San Diego (California) is a professional writer and is well-known for her Ivy and Bean series books. She has written books for adults too. From 2003 she began her journey in writing books for kids and before that she was working as an editor and has written books for adults. From 2003 to 2018 she has published 11 books in Ivy and Bean series. She knows palmistry and written about fortune telling as well.
Sophie Blackhall has been the backbone in illustrating pictures for Ivy and Bean series. She is an Australian living in New York. She has illustrated more than thirty children books. Her illustrations are really flawless and make the kids dwell into the book for hours together.
About Ivy and Bean break the fossil record (August 2007)
The storyline of all the books in this series revolves around two little friends Ivy and Bean. In this story, the two little girls try all possible things to make a world record by searching for the fossil of a dinosaur in Bean’s backyard. This is the 3rd book in the series. It all begins when the two little girls find an opportunity to read books in class. Bean reads “Book of world records” and tries to get her name in the books by attempting several things including inserting straws in her mouth etc. She is indeed naughty. At the same time, Ivy was engrossed to read about Mary Anning the paleontologists who discovered the fossil of an ichthyosaur. This inspiration of Ivy on Mary Anning and the fire of Bean to make a world record combine together and soon these two little girls start looking for fossils in Bean’s backyard. They discover bones, and much more to break Mary Anning’s record.
And now, I want you to read the book to know what happens in detail.
How does this book make the best gift to kids?
This book is written in simple English and kids of age 7+ can understand. Also, it will help them improve their vocabulary. The illustrations are neatly crafted to let kids imagine how the children in the story play their characters. It includes fun and naughty activities of kids which will attract kids for further reading. Finally, the science of paleontology can be emphasized to kids easily. Good to have this book at home to enthuse kids reading habit.
Best Better and Bad about the book
The best part of the book is, kids will feel glad to read books that contain characters of the same age. It will be easy for them to relate to. Therefore here in this book, they will understand about word record. Certainly will need your help to know how one can get their names in a world record.
Next, they will develop an interest in Paleontology as Ivy and Bean in this book spend most of their time in the backyard looking for bones and fossils. Paleontology is a vast subject and feel glad that you can teach them easily with the help of this story.
Parents can educate kids about basic discipline by comparing the act of Ivy and Bean. Best way to let kids know about good and bad along with the consequences.
However, the author could have focused a bit more on polishing Bean’s role as she was portrayed to be a bullying child with her sister. This sets a wrong example for the kids who read the book.
Since it is girls dominated book, boy children might not show interest is another drawback.
Finally, the bad point about this story is giving importance to witchcraft, spells, and ghosts. It might be required to keep the book moving but target audience being kids the author could have handled the story in a different way.
Caution Note to Parents
In case you decide to buy this book for kids, then you need to be around and explain to them about Paleontology. Do not allow them to experiment anything alone like Ivy and Bean did in the story. Also, educate them about bad behavior and let them understand the outcome of such an attitude.
Alternatively, for older kids ask them to read the book and then sit with them to know if they understood things correctly. Provide inputs wherever required and make sure they interpret the right things rightly.
I would give 8 / 10 for this book. The only issue with the story is the bad behavior of the kids, mean attitude with siblings, and the witchcraft. Otherwise, the story was good that will ignite the kids to understand about Paleontology. A good book to improve kid’s vocabulary.
I would personally suggest you purchase the book only when you know your kids are matured enough to interpret information. Hence I would make a choice of gifting this book to elder kids above age 9. You can still read the story to younger kids and do not emphasize more on the bad attitude part.
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