Melina Marchetta (text) and Deb Hudson (illustrator), What Zola did on Sunday, Penguin Random House Australia, September 2021, 96 pp., RRP $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760895228
After six books about our vibrant, charming hero, Zola, and what she gets up to on each day of the week, we have finally arrived at Sunday, and everyone is excited because it is time for the St Odo’s community fete. After months and months of planning, Zola can’t wait for the big day with its cake stall, organic stall, knitting stall and loads of competitions, like the dog and cat show and the grandparents’ portrait prize. There is just so much to look forward to!
Melina’s paired-back text is perfectly pitched at emerging readers, whilst being rich in characters and kindness. A diverse and vibrant community, reflecting many different cultures and age groups, bursts off every page, as they all come together for the fete, which aims to raise money for homeless people. For anyone who knows Zola, trouble is never too far away and when Omar’s cat Tim Tam jumps from Zola’s arms during the dog parade, things don’t quite go as planned.
This endearing series is an invitation into the very best of what neighbourhoods can be… caring, considerate, and always looking out for each other, told from the point of view of the wonderfully drawn Zola. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Deborah Abela