Friday, March 27, 2020

Review - Ella Has a Plan

Ella Has a Plan
by Davina Hamilton
illustrated by Elena Reinoso
Date: 2020
Publisher: The Ella Riley Group
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Ella is fed up, but what can she do?

Her quarrelling cousins are making her blue!

It’s Mummy’s big party – the family’s all here.

But two pesky cousins are spoiling the cheer!

Ella just wants them to party and play,

She can’t let their arguing ruin the day!

Can Ella fix things? She’s sure that she can,

She just needs to think up a brilliant plan...

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a rather text-heavy picture book about a little girl who wants to keep her cousins from quarrelling at Mummy's party.

The rhyming text is okay with decent meter for the most part (although you may have to read some lines a few times to get the timing down if you're reading it aloud). The story, however, was just so-so for me. Ella is worried about keeping Taye and Jade from arguing. So she talks to her mother, who tells her that Great Grandad Frank once played a prank to get his kids to stop quarrelling. Ella resolves to ask him, and she does. The problem is that Great Grandad Frank never actually tells the story, and the book ends with Ella wanting to come up with another plan to find out about the prank. Perhaps because her own prank (that she came up with herself) was successful at getting Taye and Jade to stop arguing, Great Grandad Frank's story was deemed unnecessary. But I found that omission kind of unsatisfying, and a bit of an unfair tease.

The pictures are cute, especially when Ella plays her prank with all the kids. At the back, there's a spread showing all the characters in the extended family, clearly labelled with their names. Judging by the name of the publishing company on this one, I'm guessing that these characters are based on real people.

Overall, this isn't bad, but it's a bit long for reading aloud. Some readers will probably also be frustrated by not finding out about Great Grandad Frank's prank. I know I was.

Thank you to NetGalley and The Ella Riley Group for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.71 out of 5

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