Ivy and Bean Blog-A-Bration (Week 8)

Good news! Colby Sharp and I asked Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall eight easy-peasy questions about the Ivy and Bean series.  

Mr. Schu: How long does it usually take you to illustrate an Ivy and Bean book? 

Sophie Blackall: If I don't sleep AT ALL, I can do all the drawings in about two or three months. But I find sleeping once in a while is a good thing, so it usually takes a bit longer. One of the trickiest bits is keeping track of Ivy and Bean's outfits, and where the furniture goes in their houses, because I know kids notice that kind of thing, and notice when something is out of place from book to book.

Mr. Schu: Have you always loved drawing and illustrating stories? 

Sophie Blackall: Yes! Even though I was a really horrible drawer as a kid. That sounds like I had handles. I mean Draw-er, as in person who draws, not the thing you put your socks in. I found a book I made when I was six. It was about a boy and a dog called Toothless Tarty, which I think you will agree is a really silly name for a dog. Because I couldn't draw animal legs, in all the pictures I have him sitting down. I'm still not very good at animal legs.

Mr. Schu: Ivy and Bean need money for low-fat Belldeloon cheese.  What’s your favorite cheese? 

Sophie Blackall: I like fresh mozzarella, that comes in a big, soft, white lump. When it melts it's all gooey.

Mr. Schu:  Are you more like Ivy or Bean?

Sophie Blackall: When I was a kid I was definitely more like Ivy. I pretty much always had my head in a book, although I used to like reading in unusual places, like up a tree, or on the roof. Which is the sort of thing Bean might do. I have always collected things like Ivy does, shells and feathers and old things in general, and I like piecing stories from mysterious messages I find on the ground. Even someone's blown away shopping list is full of clues. But I'm really messy, like Bean.

You'll need to "travel" to Colby's wonderful blog to read Annie's responses.  Happy reading! 

Chronicle has generously agreed to give away a paperback copy of Ivy and Bean: No News is Good News and three sets of Ivy and Bean Mini Notes. 

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from October 3 to 11:59 P.M. on October 6. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Coquette Maman
In the Pages
Kid Lit Frenzy
Media Darlings
One Page to the Next
Roundtable Reviews for Kids
Ruth Ayres Writes
The Children’s Book Review
The Family That Reads Together
The O.W.L.
There’s A Book

The winner will be entered into a drawing to win...

A complete set of Ivy and Bean hardcover books signed by Annie Barrows 
Ivy and Bean Paper Doll Play Set 
Ivy and Bean Button Factory 
1 Ivy and Bean READ Poster signed by Annie Barrows 
Set of Ivy and Bean Silly Bandz (not pictured, but they are so cute!!) 
Set of Ivy and Bean stickers



  1. Those dolls are adorable. And another great read with No News Is Good News. Thanks for the chance.
    Carol L


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