Amanda Commander: The Purple Invitation
Heidi Cooper Smith
Wombat Books, 2022
72pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99
Amanda Caomhánach (aka Amanda Commander) is really upset because it appears she is the only girl in the class who has not received one of the glittery lavender invitations to the very popular Eve’s birthday. The other two members of the Dolphin Squad Lucia Cazzoli (aka Rainbow Fudge) and Mai Le (aka Plum Flower) have both received theirs and are as vexed as Amanda as to why she has missed out. And so they devise a plan that will get Eve to give Amanda an invitation…
This is a new series for the newly independent reader, particularly girls, which focuses on the sorts of issues that eight and nine year olds face as they navigate the world of greater independence and making and maintaining friendships. Thus, it will resonate with many who will see themselves in the stories, and start to think about what they might do in the same circumstances. Even though Amanda has been friends with Eve since Kindergarten and can think of no reason she would have been excluded, is surreptitiously pandering to her just for what she can get, the right/best thing to do? Or are there other ways she could handle the situation such as asking Eve directly?
Using all the textual devices that support those making the transition to novels, this is a series that will be a sound stepping stone.