Ellie May Would Like to be Taken Seriously for a Change by Marianne Levy
A pink book BooKa? And a book about fashion too to boot, you scruffy little owl, you? What’s going on, I hear you cry! Nothing, just a rather good read…
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Ellie May is a very famous film star and life for her is pretty much perfect. She gets to wear lots of shoes, her films are all brilliant, everybody wants to be her friend and she has a chap name Jeffrey who wears bowties and tweed to look after her! However, if she wants a chance to win the SAUSAGE award (Seriously and Unbelievably Stunningly Amazingest Girl Ever) and not just come across as a girl only interested in shoes and handbags, she’s got to pull her socks up and show how concerned she can be.
So, when she gets a piece of fanmail asking her to help save a nature reserve, she takes off and bounds in to save the day. Her fan Lettice though, who sent the letter, doesn’t seem to think much of her ideas to save the reserve, and Ellie May doesn’t quite understand why on Earth anyone would want to save a patch of dirt and weeds anyway. As a result, things don’t exactly go terribly well. Will Ellie May be able to understand exactly what Lettice wants her to do? And will Lettice be able to show Ellie May why the nature reserve is so important? And will Jeffrey the Assistant find the Perfect New Look?
Very nice story with lots of rather whimsical humour. I really liked Ellie May, much more than I thought I would (I now have absolutely no idea why on Earth I thought I wouldn’t. Possibly because the book is pink and I haven’t quite got over my aversion to Pink Books). She’s a brilliant example of someone who means well, but will inevitably get it wrong. She’s a little bit wrapped up in her own revolving world of films starring HER and magazines starring HER and people running around after HER, but this becomes endearing rather than irritating, which it could so easily have become. It’s also got an unusual message in a kids book, or at least it’s not a moral I’ve come across before when puttering about the sections – the idea that the thought was there and that that should be appreciated.
Poor Ellie may, once she finally comes round to understanding why she’s been annoying Lettice, does try to get it right for her and help save the nature reserve the way Lettice wanted her to, but since she has absolutely no idea about reserves and nature and whatnot, she gets it wrong. And Lettice, while a little bemused, does feel grateful to Ellie May because at least she tried – she got it wrong, but she did try because she knew it would make Lettice happy. And that’s not a plotline I’ve come across before, the idea that you appreciate your friend’s efforts, even if they’re not quite what you wanted. The side plot of Jeffrey fretting about whether he looks cool or not and trying out all these different looks (with unenviable results – I still remember that feathery Emu-lookalike… thing…) is rather nice too, with the age old adage that it’s best to Just Be Yourself.
It’s illustrated throughout by Ali Pye and I LOVE those little pictures that crop up occasionally. Very stylised, with a lot of humour to them (and a bit of a marvel, in regards the emu-coat-thing).
All in all, I really liked this one. Nice flowing text, it almost doesn’t feel like a 5-8 book, it’s too smooth. Possibly for older 5-8 readers in terms of difficulty but honestly, I think younger ones could give it a go too or at least read it alongside Mum or Dad as the story’s engaging enough. Definitely one to look out for, especially for any fashion-conscious young ladies.
Find it here