01 Ivy, Bean and Binky Together at Last

United States
British Columbia
Annie Barrows United States

Annie Barrows is the author of many children’s books, including the Ivy + Bean series and The Magic Half, as well as several books for adults, including the bestselling novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters. Read more

Ashley Spires British Columbia

Ashley Spires is the creator of the Binky Adventure graphic novel series, the first of which won the Hackmatack Book Award and the Silver Birch Express. Her picture books, Small Saul and Larf, have been nominated for several awards, including the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. @ashleyspires Read more

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 10:00am - 11:30am
Granville Island Stage
$17 / $8.50 for school groups

Annie Barrows, beloved author of the fabulously successful Ivy + Bean series, which has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide, takes the stage this morning with illustrator and author Ashley Spires, who brings the fifth and final book in her delightful Binky series. Binky the cat, quiet, red-headed Ivy and her best—and unlikely—friend Bean are well-known to young readers, who will love meeting the active and outgoing minds who’ve created these beloved characters. They make reading fun!

Suitable for grades 2–4

This events is sponsored by Kidsbooks.

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View the study guide for this event.

Ivy, Bean and Binky Together at Last


Annie Barrows, Ivy and Bean Make the Rules
Ashley Spires, Binky: License to Scratch

Curriculum Connections:

  • Language Arts: character development
  • Visual Arts
  • Diversity, identity and self-esteem


  • In both Binky: License to Scratch and Ivy and Bean Make the Rules, the characters choose to overcome their physical limitations in order to accomplish something. Binky and his team of space pets escape the vet’s office and must come up with a plan to save his friends and the humans, and Bean overcomes the limitations of being seven-years-old by enlisting Ivy to help her create a camp of their very own. As a journaling activity, ask students to write “I remember when . . .” and share a memory of when they overcame a limitation placed on them because of age, size, ability, etc. An example to share might be, “I remember when I was able to ride my bike by myself for the first time.” Remind students to include sensory details. What do they remember seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling? How did that experience impact them (best parts, worst parts)? After completing the journal entry, ask students to share their experiences with their classmates.
  • Illustrators Sophie Blackall and Ashley Spires create artful covers for Ivy and Bean and Binky books, which are both eye-catching and fun. Allow students to create a new, original cover for either book, making sure to consider the important elements in the story. Alternatively, select a specific scene contained in a book and create original illustrations.
  • Friendship is at the heart of both Binky and Ivy and Bean’s stories. In the same format as Binky: License to Scratch, ask students to create a short comic depicting an experience or adventure that they once had with their friends. The goal of this activity is to help young students understand how narratives are conveyed through a combination of images and words, offering a nice transition from picture books to the more text-heavy chapter books.