Little Ash: Party problem by Ashleigh Barty, Jasmin McGaughey and Jade Goodwin

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Number five in this successful series of small books for newly arrived readers of chapter books will entice readers to seek out the others in this series based around Ash Barty’s stories of her younger days. Each book has about six chapters of several pages, in large print with some illustrations dotted amid the text. Some words are in darker font to stress words possibly not seen before.

A fancy dress party has Ash and her friend James very excited. Unsurprisingly Ash will go as a tennis player, but the whole scheme is under threat when her favourite tennis racquet is missing at the party. All of her friends are there, each dressed in their favourite dress up. After an egg and spoon race, the group goes swimming, changing from their costumes into swimmers. After getting out of the pool, Ash changes back into the tennis outfit but finds that her racquet is not there.

With James’ magical powers and Ash investigating, the team searches the garden without success. They go into the room where the parents are and Ash’s mum sees something is wrong. She tells them to ask around and go and eat some of the party food. Finding the racquet is a huge relief and the party is topped off when the costume competition takes place.

A neatly resolved story about losing something then finding it again in an unlikely place, the story revolves around Ash and James working together on a problem. Mum intervenes with suggestions and the resolution has them all relieved. Easy to read this small book will be picked up readily by early chapter book readers, thrilled to learn more of the art of reading, of new words and of Ash Barty.

Themes: Ash Barty, Tennis, Costume party, Birthday party, Friends.

Fran Knight