Sunday 12 July 2015

Ella and Olivia: Spelling Superstar

Ella and Olivia: Spelling Superstar by Yvette Poshoglian, illustrated by Danielle McDonald (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $7.99
ISBN 978-1-74362-741-9

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Ella is excited. She has been chosen to be a contestant on her favourite TV games show Spelling Superstar. Her younger sister Olivia is excited for her too, but also a tiny bit jealous. She is almost a good speller. But through helping her sister, Olivia’s spelling gets better too.
 Olivia is also hoping her sister can win her a red bike. Ella is a very good speller but will the spotlights and cameras make her nervous? Will she remember the spelling rules like ‘i before e, except after c’ which Olivia has helped her with?
The Ella and Olivia books are gentle stories about two sisters and their families. The sisters have a lovely bond and their relationship is much like most sisters would experience – loving and close, but not always best of friends. Olivia helps Ella with her words but ‘Ella sometimes gets a bit grumpy with Olivia. She can be so bossy!’ And Olivia is the younger one.
This story is written simply for a young readership, but simply does not mean uninteresting.
Super Speller Sally glides across the stage. Her smile is brighter than bright. Her teeth are whiter than white. ‘Welcome to Spelling Superstar,’ Sally croons into her microphone. Her voice is louder than loud.
It is descriptive writing and the reader doesn’t actually need the illustration of the TV show host to get a picture of her. But the black and white images do add to the story, emphasising characteristics which help beginner readers with the experience of reading a chapter book.
Spelling Superstar is packed full of words, their meanings and how to spell, so readers get to learn many big words, making this title great for extending reading confidence.

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