Sports Carnival by Yvette Poshoglian
Ill. by Danielle McDonald. Ella and Olivia series.
Scholastic Australia, 2014. ISBN 9781743620526.
(Age: 5-7) Sports Carnival is the latest addition to the growing list of titles in the Ella and Olivia series which is squarely aimed at 5-7 year old girls moving into chapter books and independent reading. The larger font and short simple sentences support the reader whilst the line drawings and embellishments as well as the lacy page borders add interest to and break up the written text.
Sports Carnival centres on that yearly school event, Sports Day. The winning team will spend a day at Slip and Slide Water Park so sisters Ella and Olivia are in training to be sports champions. The whole family, including the dog join in by supporting the purple team and training with the girls after school.
The Saturday of the Sports Carnival arrives with the school oval awash with streamers, banners and stalls, running tracks and a winner's podium all set up. They all participate in different events contributing to the team score but the final event of the day, the Tug-of-war will decide the winning team.
In a departure from the expected happy ending, the purple team comes second so there is disappointment and no trip to the Water Park for Ella and Olivia. Dad, however, comes up with a clever plan and the family enjoy their own day of fun.
This book could serve as a way to introduce juniors to a tabloid sports day and the concept that you do not have to win to enjoy a reward for effort.