Penguin Random House
April 2, 2018
Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s
I may have had to wait a while for my review copy to arrive but it was completely worth it. If ever a ‘sea change’ from dull dreary winter normality was needed it was now and this was just the tonic required for that!
Pippa and her Sassy Sister friends are super excited about the 5M class camp to a tropical island two hours from home. It’s a far cry from Pippa’s London experience of school camp sleeping over in the school hall watching movies. This camp is all about building independence, resilience and friendships beginning with learning how to sail the twin-hulled catamaran that delivers them to their island and continuing with cooking, organising, teamwork and initiative.
What a joy to read it is! Of course, there are still some ‘iffy’ relationships to sort out. Pippa and Olivia are still at odds with each other and the boys’ continual pranking of the girls is quite annoying, although the girls’ revenge is sweet when it comes.
Gradually over the five days of camp the children learn not only how to take care of themselves and work with each other but discover hidden (or ignored) positive qualities in their classmates.
From the gorgeous cover that (to me) echoes tropical fruit salad to the eminently believable characters and scenarios this is not just an enjoyable read but would, I think, encourage readers to reflect on their own personal relationships both in and out of school.
This series of Belinda’s has been taken up with huge enthusiasm with my junior readers. I’ve even had one delightful Year 4 girl so excited by them that she’s brought me Cici’s strawberry cupcakes to try out after using the recipe in a previous book! (I can only hope for more treats to come – the perks of the job *wink*).
And on that note I think we will all be eagerly awaiting the next instalment from the Pippa’s Island gang – great stuff Belinda!!
Highly recommended for readers from around Year 3 upwards.