Meet Ella and Olivia. Big sister. Little sister. Best friends.
Baking fun, toy collecting, puppy trouble and more - it's lucky Ella and Olivia have each other to share the fun! Read eight of their exciting adventures all together in one bumper edition.
I have been given several Ella and Olivia books to read over the years but this was before my girls were able to read them themselves. They have always enjoyed the stories and I kept the books (in a safe place which I can't find now) for when they were able to read them independently. When I was offered the Big Book of Ella and Olivia I snapped it up as it was time for Miss 8 to try reading these herself.
When I first gave her the book she found cover appealing and she recalled hearing the books before and seeing them in the school library. I think she was a bit daunted by the thickness of the book. It is like a thick adult novel. She had difficulty comprehending that it was actually eight books made into one book but showing her the contents page helped her with this.
For the next week or so I left the book lying around and caught her thumbing through the book several times. It wasn't until the last day of term when her teacher told the class that they needed to read chapter books for the holidays that she sat down to read it. It has been something I have been waiting a long time to see. Finally, my daughter with her nose stuck in a book.
The stories are all about family and friendship and have some situations that keep the children thinking but nothing too heavy for an eight year old. The chapters aren't too long especially as the font is large and their are pictures on most pages.
Considering it is eight books (although we already own a few of them) it is great value for money. It is the perfect thing to take on holiday when you don't have regular access to the library. It is a book that has got my daughter reading and for this reason I would be happy to recommend it to others as Dr Seuss says "The more you read, the more you know." This will also help to maintain and hopefully improve her reading skills over these holidays.
My nearly-8 year old really enjoys Ella and Olivia books, both for reading herself, and for me to read to her, so I thought this compilation of 8 different stories looked like a great option for her. Having multiple books in one, makes for a very economical purchase, but I was concerned that such a big book would be hard for her to hold so this was the first thing we tested out together...
It turned out I needn't have worried - she seemed to be able to hold this book while lying on her back to read, but of course she could also easily turn to her stomach or sit up if she needed to. And I think she seemed to really enjoy the fact that it seemed like a really grown up book. It did look rather daunting to her to begin with though, but once she got the confidence to get started on it, she realised it was no different than other books she reads herself - she just had to see it in bite-sized chunks of individual stories.
I personally like Ella and Olivia books as a great starter series for young girls, as they are easily read and understood by beginner readers. My Miss 7 loves books, and reads OK for her age, but she's not big on reading books for pleasure herself yet and still prefers me to read to her. However she does read and enjoy Ella and Olivia books as there are never too many unusual words, but the stories are still substantial enough to be enjoyable. These don't make you feel like you are reading another same-old school reader, which some books geared at beginner readers feel like. An individual story can be read in a sitting if you really want, but also over 2 or 3 sessions if preferred. Each book has about 4 or 5 chapters - perfect for young readers. As a comparison, I put this series on a par with Billie B Brown books as far as reader age.
With this big book, I was able to read some of the individual books to my daughter and they are enjoyable enough that it's not too much of a tedious task for me! They raise questions and issues that are always relevant to my daughter and so can be a great discussion opener on things such as sleepovers, fundraising, and puppies - to name a few things that came up in this particular series of books. And of course there are lessons learned and everything works out in the end which always makes for a great story.
Miss 7 really enjoyed this book, and I will continue to recommend Ella and Olivia books when asked about good books for emerging readers who want something to read on their own. And this one in particular is perfect if you haven't come across any of the stories individually, as it makes for a substantial economical purchase that can potentially take a while to get through... a really grown up concept! I highly recommend this big book, and I'll continue to seek out others in the series to keep my daughter interested and advancing in reading.
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"A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)