Ginger Green Play Date Queen: The Only Friend written by Kim Kane, illustrated by John Davis (Hardie Grant Egmont) PB RRP $9.99 ISBN 9781760127855
Reviewed by Liz Ledden
Ginger Green Play Date Queen is a fabulous new chapter book series starring a cute little fox. In each book, Ginger has a play date with a different friend, overcoming inevitable challenges and conflict along the way.
In The Only Friend, Ginger Green invites her friend Maya over to play. Problems arise when Ginger’s big sister Violet takes a liking to Maya and wants to play too. When the jealousy escalates and Ginger storms off, all seems lost – until Ginger comes up with an idea so everyone is included.
The story explores jealousy, anger, problem-solving and appreciating different types of families. While Ginger is sometimes annoyed by her bossy big sister and her little sister Penny (who, adorably, insists on being ‘nude’), Maya points out that as an only child, she doesn’t have instant playmates like Ginger does. Ultimately, the books celebrate compromise and friendship.
Super short and with only three chapters, the Ginger Green Play Date Queen series offers a wonderful introduction to the world of chapter books for newly independent readers, with lots of repetition throughout. That the illustrations depict the characters as little foxes (which isn’t mentioned in the text) adds a charming point of difference.