Ella and Olivia: Spelling Superstar by Yvette Poshoglian
Published by Scholastic Australia
This is a gentle early chapter book featuring 7 year old Ella and her younger sister Olivia. The relationship between the sisters is humorous, realistic, and heart-warming as they excitedly prepare Ella to be a contestant on the TV show Spelling Superstar.
The clever technique to introduce new and more complicated words to children by embedding them in a story about a spelling contest, works well. Poshoglian nicely builds the atmosphere in the story and the scenes at the television studio convey a real sense of excitement.
"Ella looks as white as a sheet under the hot stage lights. Olivia and the audience clap madly. Olivia's hands are red from all the clapping".
The purple and pink cover looks designed to attract the attention of young girls, but the sibling relationship and the story about a spelling contest and being on TV would be just as interesting for boys too. The text is in large font and fills most pages, each of which are decorated by a frilly boarder along the side, flower doodles and black and white sketched illustrations.
The characterisation is endearing and children will enjoy getting to know Ella and Olivia as they read through other books in the series and improve their reading at the same time!
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Yvette Poshoglian
Illustrator: Danielle McDonald
Title: Ella and Olivia: Spelling Superstar
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: April 2015