Party Problem! and Lost Luck! are the fifth and sixth books published in the Little Ash series. This junior fiction series is is a collaboration between three talented Indigenous women, Australia’s much-loved tennis star Ash Barty, writer Jasmin McGaughey and illustrator Jade Goodwin.
Party Problem begins with Little Ash going to a fancy-dress birthday party dressed as a tennis player with her shiny new racquet. With chocolate bars at stake, Little Ash tries her best to win the egg and spoon race and pass-the-parcel. But when it’s time for the costume parade, she can’t find her favourite tennis racquet. Can Little Ash and her best friend James find it in time for the costume competition?
In Lost Luck, Little Ash wakes to thunder and rain, meaning her Saturday morning hockey game might be over before it begins. Disappointed that her day is not going to plan and that everything seems to be going wrong, Ash feels miserable. Can she find a way to look on the bright side, or will Ash stay grumpy and sad all day long?
The Little Ash series is perfect for children 6-8 years—and not just those keen on sport. Both Party Problem and Lost Luck have universal themes of friendship, family and community. But what I loved most was the everyday micro-dramas that young children face, like how to stay positive when things aren’t going your way, and showing happiness for your friends when they win and you don’t. Just like Ash Barty, good sportsmanship, humility, kindness and resilience shine through the simple perfect-age text and bold and engaging illustrations.
Little Ash: Party Problem! and Lost Luck! are bound to be hit, especially among young readers who will easily relate to Little Ash’s experiences of life at this age.