The other day, Mushroom came downstairs with Ivy and Bean and a request that I reread it. Chapter books almost never get rerequested in our house, so this was really a testament of love. BalletBoy then wanted to know when the next one is coming out. Turns out the answer is not until September. Alas! This was clearly an inconceivable wait for a book.
We love Ivy and Bean around here. Mushroom likes to wince and cover his eyes whenever Bean does anything that’s about to get her in trouble. BalletBoy likes to hear about Ivy’s concoctions and witchcraft. I like the books so much that when I realized that Annie Barrows was also one of the authors of the popular adult book The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Pie Society, it actually got me to read it despite its too-cute title. I’m glad I did, too. It was no weighty tome, but it made for a fun weekend read.
I also like that I have two boys who would never dream of being embarrassed that they’re so in love with a “girl” book. But then I thought to myself, well, there must be a boy book equivalent to Ivy and Bean. So I racked my brain. Girls get Ivy and Bean, but if you head to the chapter book section in the bookstore, they’ve also got Clementine and Judy Moody. Plus they get Junie B. Jones, Katie Kazoo and Cam Jansen. Not to mention several very pink and sparkly series about fairies.
What do the boys get? Well, a glance at the chapter book section tells me that mostly they get adventure stories, mysteries and fantasies. The boys are supposed to want time traveling tree houses or giant robots that tell fart jokes. Well, my boys do like those, but they also really like sweet stories about friendship. There are a few options, so I guess I’ll try them out. I’m just a little floored by the sheer number of girl books on the chapter books aisle. Is this just fair turnaround from when boy books dominated the shelves? Is this an effect of girls reading earlier than boys on average? Or are my boys that unusual in their desire for a sweeter story?