Evie and Pog: Party Perfect! by Tania McCartney

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Harper Collins Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781460757956.
(Ages: 6-10) Recommended. This is the latest addition to prolific Australian author and illustrator Tania McCartney's (Australian Kids Through the Years, Fauna: Australia's Most Curious Creatures) Evie and Pog series. Previously published titles include Take Off and Puppy Playtime. This instalment features three short chapter stories with action-packed, expressive black and white illustrations on nearly every page. The stories are perfect for newly independent readers or as shared reading books. The two main characters are Evie (a girl) and Pog (a dog), who live in an open-plan treehouse next to Granny's big old house. Evie is six years old and enthusiastic about life, especially knitting, reading and daisies. She also loves making noise and uses her cymbals to get people's attention. Pog is two years old and loves drinking tea, making plans and vegetables. Other important characters are just as interesting. Granny, for example, is generally accepting of Evie and Pog and the chaos that seems to follow them but she can't stand noise or mess so is continually following them with a dust buster.
These three stories see Evie and Pog preparing dress-ups for the book parade, making creative pieces for the art show and preparing a birthday surprise for Granny. Children will delight in these three humorous and full-filled adventures. While the book is over 100 pages long it is separated into short chapters, making it easy to read in smaller chunks. It will be perfect for readers who like series such as Ivy and Bean, Billie B Brown and Ella and Olivia. Aside from Pog, pets feature heavily in each story so will also have special appeal for animal lovers. Themes: Beginning reader, Friendship.
Nicole Nelson