The Besties make a splash by Felice Arena and Tom Jellett

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The Besties series. Puffin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760890964. 80pp.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Felice Arena and Tom Jellett have teamed up with a series called The Besties. In each book the two main characters are introduced through illustrations and speech bubbles on the first double page. These are fun, page turning stories for beginning readers that are based on everyday familiar situations. At about 80 pages each and an easily held size, the appealing illustrations beg the reader to enter the story and read on.
In The Besties make a splash, Ruby and Oliver are at the beach. Through the story, the reader gets to know about things to do at the beach, and the protocols put in place by the family and lifesavers. They will learn about beach etiquette, swimming safely and about body surfing. Ruby and Oliver meet other friends and they all get an ice cream from the van, but are attacked by a mob of seagulls. All is fine however, getting back into the water with people watching from the shore, while they wash off the bird poo sees the foursome repair their friendship.
Easy to read, divided into chapters of about 5 pages, copious illustrations and a clear font make these ideal for the child who has mastered early chapter books. Engaging stories with known characters add to the appeal, and the books are finished off with puzzles and cartoons and information. Activities for the series can be found on the author's website. Themes: Beach, Swimming, Safety.
Fran Knight