Review Blog

Jun 24 2012

Ella and Olivia series by Yvette Poshoglian

cover image

Ill. by Danielle McDonald. Scholastic, 2012
Best friend showdown. ISBN 978 1 74283 355 2
Cupcake catastrophe. ISBN 9781 74283 354 5
(Ages: 6+) Early chapter books
Designed for those young girls newly arrived at reading chapter books by themselves, these stories about two best friends, Ella and Olivia, will not stretch the imaginations of its readers. Simple stories, simply told, without too much complication will make these an easy read for new independent readers, wanting to achieve quick success.
In Best friend showdown, the girls' teacher gives them a carton of chocolates to sell as a fundraiser for their new school hall. Each girl has some difficulty selling the chocolates, and the result is neat indeed as Ella's younger sister sells them for her when she is at netball. Along the way the selling of chocolates is not questioned, but the idea of winning and coming second is nicely explained, as is the idea of the sister helping out.
Cupcake catastrophe is also very straightforward, and will give young newly independent readers a sense of achievement when they get to the end of this story. In this one the two girls apply their skills in the kitchen, making cupcakes for a party with their family. but when someone bites into the cake, they realise that perhaps they have used salt instead of sugar. A lesson is learnt.
Attractively packaged, with clear, simple line drawings, these books (and yes, there are more to come) will have an instant audience in junior primary classes.
Fran Knight

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