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Meet Ella: Spotty Puppy by Rebecca McRitchie, illustrated by Danielle McDonald

Title: Meet Ella: Spotty Puppy

A purple spotty cover with a white girl with brown hair in blue shorts, a white striped top and pink jacket. She is holding a spotty puppy.

Author: Rebecca McRitchie, illustrated by Danielle McDonald

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 1st July 2021

Format: Paperback

Pages: 48

Price: $7.99

Synopsis: Sales Points:

  • §  A new series from the world of the bestselling Ella and Olivia and Ella Diaries
  • §  Meet Ella in her first years at school
  • §  Simple vocabulary and large, easy-to-read font ideal for very new readers
  • §  Full of humour, heart and playful illustrations
  • §  Relatable themes of family, friendship and being a little person in a big world
  • §  Ella and Olivia has over ONE MILLION copies in


Ella finds a spotty puppy in the park.
But who does it belong to?
And what happens when it follows Ella home?


Ella heads off to the park with her father – and whilst playing with her sparkly ball, she finds a spotty puppy, who wants to play. But the puppy follows Ella home and she wants to keep him – but Dad says they should see if the puppy, whom Ella has called Jellybean – has a home first. Will Ella and Dad find the puppy’s home?

A sparkly purple image of Miles Franklin with 2021 Australian Women's Writer's Challenge in white text.

This beautiful new series is the latest in the Ella world that kicked off with Yvette Poshoglian’s Ella and Olivia. This world has books for early readers, independent readers and middle grade readers. In each we see Ella at a different stage – in this series, she has just started school, and sits before the Ella and Olivia books, which are followed by Ella Diaries and my favourite, the middle grade series Ella at Eden. Each is aimed at a different reading level, and the Meet Ella series is aimed at early readers, and those just learning to read. The large font and exciting illustrations coupled with relatable stories for the five and over age group, this series will ensure an exciting reading journey.

A lost puppy is a great place to start in this series, and I’m keen to see what other topics Ella has to tackle as she grows – and emerges into the following series for older readers. This first book is a fantastic introduction  to Ella as a character and I love it!

Kids love animals, and Ella’s desire to keep the puppy will be relatable for young readers. Yet this book will also help teach young children about the wider world and their place in it. Ella learns about not getting her way in this book, that just because she wants the puppy, doesn’t mean she can have it – that lost dogs often have an owner. But this is done gently and in a fun way using simple language that tells the story eloquently whilst capturing the imagination. We all want a puppy or a kitten, and I love that these books like Ella are separate or ignore COVID – it’s nice to escape from the reality of COVID in what I read. Ela’s adventure with the puppy was lots of fun and I hope this series bolsters a love of reading for kids for many years to come.

Kids will also learn to build their vocabulary, comprehension and reading ability with this series, as a next step to learning to recognise sounds or to be read alongside anything that might be helping them learn to recognise sounds. Keen readers will also love reading about Ella at a new stage as their reading confidence and love grows. This fun new series will definitely be a highlight for readers of all ages, as older siblings and parents can share their love of Ella at all stages as well. As the earliest step on Ella’s journey, this is so much fun – these short, sharp reads are engaging and full of life with little kids learning what it is like to be in a big world – starting with what happens when you find a lost puppy!

I love books that help educate and teach kids whilst being fun, because this allows kids to engage with reading effectively, and I hope to one day work in this sort of industry. What fun these new Ella books are!

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