What Zola did on Wednesday by Melina Marchetta

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Illus. by Deb Hudson. Puffin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760895174.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. What Zola did on Wednesday is the third story in the humorous and entertaining Zola series. Zola lives with her Mum and Nonna Rosa and is very busy with the garden project after school on Monday and playing with her neighbours and Nonna's knitting grandmothers on Tuesday. In this new story Zola hears something going on in Leo's yard and climbs a tree to investigate. Leo's mother Justine is a police officer and has brought home Vesper the police dog for a visit. Justine tells Zola all about the work a police dog does and when Sophia's turtle goes missing Zola comes up with an idea. The idea does not quite go as expected and the neighbours all support Zola and her friends and keep them safe. Justine talks to the children about being careful and visits Zola's school for her news talk. Justine also organises dog training on Wednesdays after school and Zola and her friends are kept busy.
The multi-cultural community aspect of this series shows the diversity of the Australian culture and how we can all interact positively with others in our daily lives. At the end of the story the author shares tips for training your pet dog to sit. This book would be a lovely read-aloud for a classroom teacher or parent and an excellent read for a young child moving onto independent reading. Themes: Friends, Neighbours, Diversity, School, Dogs, Safety.
Kathryn Beilby