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Zelda and Ivy and the Boy Next Door

Zelda and Ivy and the Boy Next Door

by Laura McGee Kvasnosky

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"Kvasnosky captures the love and tug of siblings, and evokes a simple world of neighborhood play. . . . Sprightly and humorous." — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Eugene has just moved in next door, and Zelda and Ivy are happy to find a new playmate. But with three friends, it’s often two against one. Or is that one against two? Laura McGee Kvasnosky&


"Kvasnosky captures the love and tug of siblings, and evokes a simple world of neighborhood play. . . . Sprightly and humorous." — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Eugene has just moved in next door, and Zelda and Ivy are happy to find a new playmate. But with three friends, it’s often two against one. Or is that one against two? Laura McGee Kvasnosky’s trio of stories starring the fabulous fox sisters takes a wry, honest look at the relationships between friends. Ideal for beginning readers — who will no doubt glimpse a little of their own lives on these lively pages.

Editorial Reviews

The fabulous Fox sisters from Zelda and Ivy are back -- and this time, they have a new playmate: their next-door neighbor, Eugene. As always, Zelda embraces her role of the bossy big sister, and lovable little Ivy manages to "hold her own" -- resulting in a hilarious and heartwarming read.

Zelda and Ivy and the Boy Next Door is divided into three vignettes. The first story introduces the new neighbor, Eugene, who pops over the fence to find Zelda and Ivy playing (i.e., Zelda "the famous paleontologist" dumping sand on her sister, "the stegosaurus," whom she's planning to dig up). Eugene offers to show the sisters his Band-Aid collection -- and when he has their attention, he asks Zelda to marry him. All week long he pesters her with this question, but when she continues to put him off with "I'll think about it," it's Ivy who ultimately earns his heart.

In the second story, Zelda won't let Ivy play "pirate" with Eugene and her because, she says, "methinks you don't know how to talk like a pirate." But with a little clever thinking, Ivy proves herself indispensable to the game. These first two tales are true to life in their treatment of the dynamics of a trio of friends: It's often two against one -- or one against two. And the predicaments these characters find themselves in are ones young readers can relate to.

The final story is vintage Zelda and Ivy -- a witty and wonderful look at sisterhood. While Zelda and Ivy are camping out in their backyard, Ivy, who's having trouble sleeping, says, "I wish we'd invited Eugene." "No way," says Zelda. "Sisters only." Ivy then asks her sister to sing a song to help her sleep, and Zelda complies with a lullaby of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Despite her flair for drama and dominance, it's clear that Zelda has a big heart. And this story, like the rest, ends with a humorous twist as, in her own subtle way, Ivy gets the best of Zelda.

Vastly appealing as either a sequel or a stand-alone book, Zelda and Ivy and the Boy Next Door features illustrations that are as spirited and vibrant as the story itself. Bright colors and bright expressions fill the pages and effectively portray the energy and emotion of the Fox friends. Sisters, friends -- and simply kids of all kinds -- will love Zelda and Ivy!

Reading level: Ages 5-9

--Jamie Levine

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-The fabulous fox sisters introduced in Zelda and Ivy (Candlewick, 1998) are back. In the first vignette, it's love at first sight when a new young fox in the neighborhood lays eyes on Zelda. Eugene offers her his favorite Superfox Band-Aid and proposes marriage soon after. "I'll think about it," says Zelda. The persistent suitor helps to clean the girls' room, agrees to be the cow while Zelda and Ivy play cowgirls, and sells lemonade with Ivy while his beloved sits in the shade. When he finally gets his answer, the dejected beau proposes to her sister. In the second story, it's Ivy's turn to feel left out as Zelda and Eugene are playing pirate in their tree house. The clever young fox figures out a way to get into the action and out of having to walk the plank. In the last episode, a "sisters only" camp out in the backyard finds Ivy unable to go to sleep. Zelda agrees to hold her paw and sing her a song. One tune leads to another and after some wishes on shooting stars, Ivy is off to dreamland and a wide-awake Zelda has no one to sing her to sleep. Kvasnosky's takes on childhood friendships, creative play, and sibling dynamics are fresh and funny and completely on target. The vibrant gouache-resist artwork suits the spirited characters to a tee. Fans of the first book and new readers as well will agree that good things come in threes. Encore Zelda and Ivy!-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The charming red fox siblings (Zelda and Ivy, 1998, not reviewed) make a new friend when the fox next door, Eugene, enters their lives. In the first picture-book chapter, "Romance," Eugene falls madly in love with Zelda, and joins the sisters in play; when Zelda consistently rejects his proposals of marriage, he transfers his affections to Ivy. In "Pirates," Zelda and Eugene play pirates in the tree house, while Ivy has been declared "too little to play." Resourceful Ivy buries a treasure and finds her way into the game. In "Camping Out," Zelda and Ivy try to fall asleep outside in their sleeping bags. Kvasnosky captures the love and tug of siblings, and evokes a simple world of neighborhood play. The illustrations are sprightly and humorous; an economic use of line and detail convincingly depicts the bossiness of Zelda, the wistfulness of Eugene, and the high hopes of little Ivy. (Picture book. 6-9)

Children's Literature - Taylor Wells
Two fox sisters, Zelda and Ivy, meet their neighbor Eugene. Kvasnosky introduces readers to three characters in a series of three short stories. In the first, Eugene does many favors for Zelda, hoping she'll marry him, but when she rejects him, he then asks Ivy to marry him. In the second story, they all play pirates, and Eugene leaves, while the third story is about the two sisters camping in their yard. The work incorporates different relationships but delivers no insight into their development. The interactions are interesting and witty at times, but they are not the type of stories that deliver moral or educational messages. They are fit for simple entertainment with good use of comic relief at the ends of the stories. The illustrations do not enhance the story but aid the imagination and help to identify the characters as foxes. Though not enthralling, these stories will find a welcome place among beginning readers. Reviewer: Taylor Wells

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Candlewick Sparks Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 8.66(h) x 0.14(d)
220L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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