Ivy and the Meanstalk

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carly Reagan
Fourteen year old Princess Ivory Isadora Imperia Irene would much rather spend her days flying around the land of Ardendale on the back of her best friend (and dragon) Elridge, or exploring with her fairy godmother, than studying her royal duties. However, when her land suddenly finds itself in danger thanks to the long-gone trickster Jack (of "Jack and the Beanstalk" fame), Ivy finds that she is Ardendale's best hope for survival. Through many dangerous trials and tests of wit, Ivy learns more than ever about how important bravery and humility can be, and that being a princess is about more than having fun. A fractured fairy tale at its best, taking the well-known tale of Jack and the Beanstalk and telling it not only from another point of view, but also expanding the possibilities of what could happen after the "happily ever after" ending we know so well. The modern language used in the text at times can take you out of the timeless feel of a fairy tale, but will be a certain draw for the tween reader, as will the satisfying and exciting twists which make it hard to put down. The underlying theme of seeing things from the point of view of others occurs frequently, in ways, both simple and grand, and is subtle enough for the reader to subconsciously absorb, while clear enough to maintain the everlasting tradition of learning life's most important morals through the art of a well-crafted fairy tale. Reviewer: Carly Reagan
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In this delightful and humorous sequel to Ivy's Ever After (Holiday House, 2010), 14-year-old Princess Ivy of Ardendale has another adventure that challenges fairy-tale conventions. This lighthearted fantasy revolves around a fractured version of "Jack and the Beanstalk," recasting the giant and his wife as victims and Jack as a villain who used his stolen riches to found the kingdom of Jackopia centuries before the book's start. When the giantess threatens war upon Ardendale if her singing harp isn't returned, Ivy must save the day. While searching for the harp in Jackopia, she meets an overprotected young prince whom she encourages to stand up to his strict parents. This subplot provides an interesting counterpoint to the clichéd image of the princess in need of rescue. Lairamore's well-developed characters are excellent riffs on fairy-tale traditions: Ivy, the disheveled and impetuous princess; Eldridge, the mild-mannered dragon; and Drusilla, Ivy's fairy godmother, who creates problems instead of solving them. Various settings are depicted in rich detail while never detracting from the narrative. The plot is filled with action-packed scenes, including several in which Ivy and Eldridge tangle with the "meanstalk," a frightening version of Jack's beanstalk that attacks climbers. Although accessible to those unfamiliar with Ivy's Ever After, this sequel does contain spoilers for the first book. Perfect for fans of Vivian Vande Velde's Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird (Harcourt, 2005) and Wendy Mass's "Twice Upon a Time" books (Scholastic).—Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews

Hardly has intrepid Princess Ivy saved her father's kingdom of Ardendale from one deadly threat (detailed inIvy's Ever After,2010) than along comes another.

When magic beans delivered to newlywed fairy godmother Drusilla shoot prized pixie goat Toadstool into the sky atop an unpleasantly toothy beanstalk/Venus flytrap hybrid, Ivy soars to the rescue aboard her beloved dragon buddy Elridge—only to be seized by Largessa, a giant who has been sleepless for a millennium, ever since that thief Jack stole her singing harp. In consequence, she's grown understandably irritable and threatens to pelt Ardendale with massive rocks unless the harp is returned in a week. Where is it now? Deep in the treasure vaults of distant Jackopia, a kingdom that after 1,000 years of golden eggs is literally paved, walled, floored, decorated and armored with the glittering stuff. And will Jackopia's single-minded King Jack the 102nd give the golden harp up when Ivy flies in to ask? As if. Endowing her 14-year-old heroine with engaging stubbornness and plucky allies—notably boyfriend-in-the-bud Owen the stable boy—Lairamore dishes up a lighthearted quest tale (with just a hint of romance). Endearingly, all wrongs result from egotism or thoughtlessness rather than malice and are ultimately righted amid a cascade of breathtaking narrow squeaks and truly monumental quantities of bling.

Breezy and entertaining, with more than a few clever folkloric twists.(Fantasy. 10-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823423927
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/2/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 812,752
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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