Ella and Olivia: Beach Holiday by Yvette Poshoglian, illustrated by Danielle McDonald (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $7.99
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop
Sisters Ella and Olivia are going to stay at their grandparents’ beach house. Ella is excited; she is seven years old and is looking forward to the holiday. Olivia is not quite as sure. She is five-and-a-half and has only ever stayed away from home for one night before. But she loves her grandmother and grandfather and she will have Ella and baby brother Max with her. So she bravely waves goodbye to Mum and Dad and Bob, the puppy, and they leave for their adventure in grandparents’ kombi.
Ella and Olivia is a lovely series for 5-7 year olds. Beach Holiday is a delightful story about adventures on the beach. There are good messages for young girls throughout and Olivia's nervousness about being away from home is acknowledged, but not made into a big deal.
The relationship between the sisters and the rest of the family is lovely. When Ella takes her sister’s hand in the ocean, 'Olivia forgets how cold she is and how much she already misses Mum and Dad.'
Ella and Olivia books are gentle stories about everyday life. There’s plenty for young girls to relate to, and the book contains just enough adventure to keep readers involved. The line drawings which illustrate every page make this an attractive book and add to the appeal for beginner readers.