We’ve been reading some of the books from the Ella and Olivia chapter book series. They have simple storylines, with large text and black and white illustrations, making them a great start to reading chapter books for lower primary school children. I’ve read these books to my pre-schooler and she loved them, wants me to keep reading so she can find out what happens. I don’t mind reading them to her either, which is something I can’t say about every book she picks out! When she is ready for chapter books, I would be happy for her to read these books on her own. I think she particularly related to Ella and Olivia because she saw herself as being like Olivia, with an older sister that she idolises, and a baby brother who drools a lot 🙂 These could be stories about her and her sister, so it’s easy for her to picture the story unfolding. We are going to see if there are some more Ella and Olivia books available from the library for us to read together.
Update August 2015: Now in kindergarten, my daughter still loves these books, but now she can read them herself. We have collected the entire set now, and each time a new one is released, she asks for it straight away. I will try to review the rest of the series in the coming months.
Ella and Olivia: Ballet Stars by Yvette Poshoglian and illustrated by Danielle McDonald, paperback, 63 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2012.
This is book number three in the series. Olivia wants to be just like her big sister, Ella. In Ballet Stars, Ella is taking ballet lessons, and Olivia wants to learn to dance too. Ella’s ballet school is putting on a production of Cinderella, and Ella wants to be the star and dance a solo. Olivia wants to be in the show as well. Ella practices and practices, teaching Olivia along the way, even if Olivia only has her swimmers and sandals to dance in instead of a leotard! Will the girls get want they want?
Ella and Olivia: The New Girl by Yvette Poshoglian and illustrated by Danielle McDonald, paperback, 63 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2012.
This is the fourth book in the series. In The New Girl, it is Olivia’s first day at big school, and Ella is starting year two. There is a new girl in her class, Millie, and she is a bit mean. She is rude to Ella, and Ella starts to dislike her. When Millie is mean to Olivia and won’t let her play with them, Ella stands up to Millie on Olivia’s behalf. Maybe Millie isn’t really mean, maybe she is just feeling lonely in unfamiliar surroundings. Will Ella give her a chance?
Ella and Olivia: Puppy Trouble by Yvette Poshoglian and illustrated by Danielle McDonald, paperback, 63 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2013.
This is book number five in the series. In Puppy Trouble, Ella and Olivia are finally allowed to have a puppy. They pick out a cute little fellow from the pet shop and take him home. They soon discover that there is much more to keeping a puppy than just playing with it all the time. This story gentle reminds readers that pet ownership comes with responsibility, including cleaning up after your pet, even when you just want to play with them.
Ella and Olivia: The Big Sleepover by Yvette Poshoglian and illustrated by Danielle McDonald, paperback, 63 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2013.
This is book number six in the series. In The Big Sleepover, Ella is allowed to have her very first sleepover with her best friend Zoe. Ella is very excited. When Zoe arrives for the sleepover, her dad suggests that Ella might like to come riding with Zoe the following day. The girls have fun, but when it’s time for bed they don’t want to go to sleep. A midnight snack, giggling and waking Olivia makes for a late night. And there are consequences come morning.
Ella and Olivia: Hair Disaster by Yvette Poshoglian and illustrated by Danielle McDonald, paperback, 63 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2015.
This is the fifteenth book in the series. Ella is preparing to play Sleeping Beauty in her ballet recital. She has been practicing with Olivia everyday. Ella and Olivia decide to try out some hair styles in the bathroom the day before the show. Olivia brushes Ella’s hair over and over, and then Olivia reaches for the scissors. What will Ella’s hair look like for the ballet concert?