Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Flower Power: Ella and Olivia

Flower Power: Ella and Olivia by Yvette Poshoglian, illustrated by Danielle McDonald (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $7.99
ISBN 978-1-74362-053-3
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Ella and Olivia are sisters. Ella is seven and Olivia is five. In Flower Power Ella has decided she would like to start a garden at home just like the one they have at school. She is happy for Olivia to help, but Ella wants to be in charge. Mum and Dad help the girls build and prepare the garden bed, then leave the panting to them. The only problem is Ella wants to grow just herbs and vegetables while Olivia wants flowers as well. Is Ella being too bossy? Can they find a compromise?
This is a great story about a family working together. Even baby Max is involved, mostly making mud pies but creating this garden is a family effort. There are discussions about making the garden bed, staking tomatoes, seedlings, different herbs and other gardening issues.
Ella and Olivia have a realistic sibling relationship which many young girls will relate too and the way the family interacts is also grounded and positive. This title explores cooperation, bossiness and responsibility.
The sweet illustrations add to the story, showing the family working together as well as the growing frustrations of Ella. Every page is decorated making the book appealing to young readers.
Ella and Olivia is a lovely series for young girls, five plus, who are starting to read.

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