Meredith Costain (text), and Danielle McDonald (illustrator), Amazing Acrobats Olivia’s Secret Scribbles #3, Scholastic Australia, August 2018, 96 pp., RRP $9.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760277086
Olivia has a new best friend— Matilda loves everything Olivia does. Together they climb, play soccer, roller-weave and most importantly, play on the monkey bars. But one day, Olivia realises Matilda is afraid to hang upside down.
Written in a diary format, these are the daily adventures of a primary school girl as she goes on a series of exciting adventures from the schoolyard to the backyard. The diary-style format makes the story highly relatable for primary schoolers with each page dotted with fun illustrations to accompany the action.
Filled with beautiful acts of kindness and friendship, this is a joy-filled read suited to children from prep. This would suit new solo-readers as well as being a great start to a diary project for a class. Amazing Acrobats is one in a series with Olivia as the protagonist. Readers will be wanting the whole set. A class could begin keeping a daily diary themselves.
A call to action for all children to get outside and get active, and an empowering example of lifting your friends up when they feel afraid. The narrator Olivia is a strong role model for girls; kind, strong, daring and adventurous. Expect to see a lot of playground gymnastics and a few children wanting to become acrobats!
Reviewed by Belinda Raposo