Monday, 20 May 2013

Ella and Olivia: The Big Sleepover


Ella and Olivia: The Big Sleepover by Yvette Poshoglian, illustrated by Danielle McDonald (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $7.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-658-4
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Ella has invited her best friend Zoe for a sleepover. They plan to stay up late, telling stories and having a midnight feast. Olivia is feeling left out.

Olivia is only five-and-a-half years old, almost two years younger than her sister and not old enough yet for a sleepover. But she helps Ella with all the jobs which need to be done in preparation for the night. When Zoe arrives, Ella hopes that the bigger girls will share the fun with her.

The Ella and Olivia books are a great series for beginning readers. The text is large and broken up with sweet black and white illustrations. The chapters are short and the words and sentences straight forward and not too complex.

The story is one grounded in reality. Girls will easily identify with the sisters and recognise the excitement of the first sleepover with a friend. The relationships in the story are lovely but real, especially the one between the two sisters. They sometimes get frustrated with, or envious of, each other but they work it through, often with a little help from Mum.

There are eight so far to collect, and these books, suitable for 5-8 year-olds, will keep young readers engaged in the lives of Ella and Olivia.

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