Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I'm going to share with you a new book for middle elementary age kids from a series that I love!
Summary: It's the Science Fair, and the second grade is all over it! 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 involving explosions? Or ropes? Something with ice cubes? Or maybe . . . maybe something different. -- Chronicle Books
IVY + BEAN: WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall is the seventh book in the Ivy and Bean series. I have no doubt that fans of this series (like me!) will appreciate this latest installment. As a reader, I loved reading about Ivy and Bean's unlikely friendship as well as their creative attempts at a science fair project. However, as a parent, I loved that this book teaches children about the potential effects of global warming. I think WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA is a win/win for kids and parents alike.
In WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA, Ivy and Bean are learning about the effects of global warming on the world. Their teacher asks everyone in the class to create a project for the science fair that will cool down the earth. The girls brainstorm to come up with an idea but quickly discover that there aren't an easy answers to this problem. In true and Bean fashion, they decide to jump on a trampoline while tossing ice cubes in the air and attempt to record the air temperature. Needless to say, this doesn't work. Time is running out and the girls still don't have a project for the science fair. Will they be able to come up with a project to cool the earth in time?
I loved the premise for this book, and I especially appreciated that it allows parents and teachers to discuss global warming with children. I absolutely adored some of the creative ideas that the other kids in the classroom came up with (one girl had each of her siblings hold their breath to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions!); however, I was most impressed with Ivy and Bean's last minute idea. They definitely got their message about global warming across while at the same time managing to teach the adults a thing or two about life.
Another feature about WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? that I liked was the "study guide" in the back of the book. There was a further explanation about global warming as well as ideas for how the problem could be fixed. I think children who read this section will find that there aren't any easy answers to this problem -- just like Ivy and Bean did.
There is an entire website devoted to Ivy + Bean. Besides giving a run down on all of the book in the series, the website offers some other fun activities. Readers can join the fan club while teachers (and parents) can get ideas for activities that tie in with WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? You can even print out a copy of the Certificate of Achievement that Ivy and Bean can earn at the Science Fair. If you'd like to learn more about this book, you can read an excerpt from Chapter 1.
I found IVY + BEAN: WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA to be a fun book that also teaches kids some important lessons about life and the environment. Highly recommended!
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.
Giveaway alert: I have one copy of IVY + BEAN: WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before December 3rd at 11:59 p.m ET. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!