The Besties – Felice Arena and Tom Jellett



We all know how hungrily those newly independent readers gobble up their favourite series of easy chapter books and we also know that there are times when we struggle to find them the ‘next series’ on which to embark.

This super new series from a highly talented pairing is going to tick a lot of boxes. The two ‘besties’ of the title are Ruby and Oliver so right there you have instant appeal for both boys and girls and also a fabulous demonstration that opposite genders can very easily be friends!

Felice has the knack of engaging his readers always and by having these two new characters simply enjoying their friendship, everyday life, playtimes and simple adventures will very easily hook those early readers into the narratives.

The Besties Show and Smell (#1)


January 2020

ISBN: 9781760890988

Imprint: Puffin

Format: Paperback

RRP: $9.99

Ruby has been so excitedly looking forward to her turn at Show & Tell because she’s going to play her ukulele for the class but things go awry when their regular teacher is away. The replacement teacher Mr Botham is a real grump and refuses to proceed with the regular program but Ruby is not to be daunted. Ollie is a little disturbed and cross that she’s going to defy the old crank while he’s out of the room but soon recovers and all is well. Ruby’s impromptu performance is a huge success and not even class clown Zac’s ‘smelly’ response can quench the mood.

The Besties to the Rescue (#2)


January 2020

ISBN: 9781760890971

Imprint: Puffin

Format: Paperback

RRP: $9.99

Ruby has been practicing her trampoline skills and asks Ollie to video her stunning flips and tricks. Of course Ollie is only too happy to do so but when the pair watches the result they realise that the naughty neighbourhood cat has attacked a bird’s nest and the little fledgling has been tipped out onto the ground. Ruby and Ollie know the little bird is too young to fly so it’s up to them to help it and enable it to survive.


These are super cute stories full of fun with the right dash of imagination to appeal to the little ones that will pounce upon it. Jellet’s illustrations resonate with the joy and energy of the characters. Felice and Tom, who did such a brilliant job on the Sporty Kids, have nailed it again with this new series. Two more are already on the way so what a great way to start off the new year for your borrowers – get some on your shelves ASAP!

Highly recommended for readers from around 6 years upwards

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