Gr. 2s Connect with Annie Barrows, Author of Ivy + Bean

Ivy+BeanLast Thursday, the Grade 2s and 3s had a chance to listen to Annie Barrows, author of the Annie and Bean series, speak at the Vancouver Writers’ Festival.

We listened as she read the first two chapters from her new book Ivy and Bean Take the Case. Then, she spent the next 40 minutes answering questions from the audience.

In answer to the audience’s questions, Annie showed us pictures of places and people who inspired her writing. She told us tales from her life, which form the basis for many of Ivy and Bean’s adventures. Annie also told us that she re-writes each of her books at least five times before they are published! Wow – that is perseverance.

After we returned to school, the girls in 2H had many questions that they wished they could have asked Annie. So we decided to send her an email. And, guess what?! We received a response. Here are a few of our questions and her responses:

Grade 2s: Have you thought of making Ivy and Bean comic books?
Annie: Ivy and Bean comic books are a great idea, BUT I can’t draw. Sophie [Blackall, the illustrator] would have to do it. I’ll tell her to get on it, but in the meantime, maybe you guys could make one.

Grade 2s: What is Bean’s last name (in Ivy and Bean Take the Case, you wrote that it was very long)?
Annie: I don’t know what Bean’s last name is! If you think of some good possibilities, let me know. There was a kid in Washington DC who suggested “Pinchnickel.” I thought that was a pretty good one.

Grade 2s: Which book took the longest to write?
Annie: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules took the longest because I went totally crazy and included a lot of stuff that I had to take out later because my editor told me it was too dangerous (I thought it was funny). That one took about eight months altogether, yikes. But Book 2, Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go, includes a paragraph that took me EIGHTEEN MONTHS and about 80 tries to get right. Sheesh.

Grade 2s: How long have you been writing books?
Annie: I have been writing books for 18 years.

What an amazing way for us to make connections to the books we are reading.

A huge “Thank You” to Mrs. Martin for organizing this great experience for us.

Danielle Neer
Teacher, 2H

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