Review Blog

Mar 30 2015

Ballet backflip by Meredith Costain

cover image

Ill. by Danielle McDonald. Ella Diaries series. Scholastic Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781743628645
Recommended for readers from 7-9 years. Ella's diary contains her quirky, innermost thoughts, her observations, poems, feelings - both sad and happy, all accompanied by small action cartoons drawn in purple and black. Ella is very expressive and informative, she loves using dot points and lots of punctuation! She attends La Madame Fry Ecole de Ballet - ballet school - every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning with her best friend Zoe. Madame Fry announces a special ballet concert set in an enchanted wood, the junior class is baby bunnies. Unfortunately, there's only one special role the Fairy Queen for the senior girls, the rest of the group is rocks, trees and mushrooms. Dante the only boy dancer is the Fairy King. Ella practices and practices plies and pirouettes in her bedroom, often interrupted by her younger sister Olivia and her friend Matilda.
At school annoying Peach and her friends are impressing their classmates with awesome flips, somersaults and moves they have learnt at Twisters, a new gymnastics club. When Zoe decides to leave ballet lessons and join the gymnastics club.
Meredith Costain's Ella Diaries are amusing to read, she really understands the highs and lows a young girl experiences at home, at school and in choosing the right sport or activity. The use of different font styles, sizes and colours combined with different styles of poetry and use of difficult words and made-up ones like 'exhausterating' make this an appealing junior novel.
Rhyllis Bignell

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