ARE YOU MORE LIKE IVY OR BEAN?

ANNIE: Who can tell what he or she is like? Not me. I think of myself as soft-spoken and gentle, but whenever I mention this to other people, they laugh. They laugh and laugh. Phooey. I just went downstairs and asked all the people in my house whether I'm more like Ivy or Bean: 2 votes for Bean; 2 votes for Ivy; 2 abstentions (the guinea pigs); and the UPS guy says he doesn't know.

SOPHIE: I wish I was more like Bean, but if I'm honest, I'm Ivy through and through. Except for the headbands.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO KIDS WHO SAY THEY DON'T LIKE TO READ?

ANNIE: That's okay. Neither does Bean.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO KIDS WHO SAY THEY CAN'T DRAW?

SOPHIE: Rubbish. If you have hands you can draw. And if you don't have hands, that's no excuse either. People have done very interesting drawings with their feet.

IF YOU WEREN'T A WRITER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

ANNIE: Hmm. This question can be taken in two ways. If I could exchange being a writer for any other profession in the world and then magically receive the ability to go along with that profession, I'd be an opera singer. You get to wear really good costumes, and everyone fusses over whether you might get a chill. Right now, no one cares if I might get a chill.

However, if I had to stop being a writer for some reason, and I got absolutely NO new abilities, I suppose I'd have to be a fortune teller, since that's the only other thing I can do. No, wait! Maybe I could bake cakes! I make super cakes.

IF YOU WEREN'T AN ARTIST, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

SOPHIE: I would like to have a museum. It would be a museum dedicated to half-finished projects. There would be a room of half-done tapestries, and half-knitted sweaters. There would be half-finished paintings and half-built Brooklyn Bridges made from matchsticks. It would be open every seventh Thursday that fell on a half moon, and people would line up for miles. I'd serve half-baked cookies. It would be brilliant.

WHERE DO YOU GET THE IDEAS FOR YOUR BOOKS?

ANNIE: I steal them from children.

SOPHIE: I steal them from children.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN DURING SPRING AND SUMMER VACATIONS?

ANNIE: I lie on the couch and read. Sometimes, for variety, I lie in the hammock and read. One summer, the temperature was over a 100 every day for a week, and during that week, I went under the bed and read.

SOPHIE: I lived near the beach so I swam and collected shells and explored the caves and walked on the cliffs looking for birds' nests and dared myself to stare down the ravine to where the rusted old car lay at the bottom. When I wasn't at the beach I was up a tree with a book and a bush biscuit, which was an indigestible, enormous, rectangular, dry, tasteless cookie. They gave them to soldiers, and I'm pretty sure these were left over from the war. My brother and I loved them.

WHAT'S THE SILLIEST QUESTION A KID (OR A GROWNUP) HAS EVER ASKED YOU?

ANNIE: The questions kids ask me are generally quite reasonable and interesting, such as "What's your favorite color? How many pets do you have? Do you have parents too? Do you like Napa? Was your cousin's house really haunted?" (Pink, 2, yes, yes, yes)

One time a grownup asked me how I felt about meat. I said I felt pretty good.

SOPHIE: A kindergartner once asked me to marry him. That wasn't silly though, I was very flattered. A grownup recently asked me how I learned to draw so "amateurish". That was silly.

Want to write to Annie and Sophie?
Send your letter to:
Ivy + Bean
c/o Chronicle Books
680 2nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

 

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