Ella and the Useless Day

Meg McKinlay (Author)

Ella and the Useless Day
Walker Books Australia
3 August 2022

Ella and the Useless Day

Meg McKinlay (Author)

A heartwarming picture book about community, sustainability and how one neighbour’s rubbish is another’s treasure.   

Ella’s house is full of things… useless things! At least that’s what she and Dad think. But when they decide to have a clean-up day, something very curious happens.

Maybe what is useless to them is treasure to someone else?


No strangers to the CBCA Book of the Year Notables list, Meg McKinlay and Karen Blair are paired together for the first time with Ella and the Useless Day, a heartwarming story of Ella and her dad working together to get rid of all sorts of things they don’t need anymore. At first, everything looks broken and useless, but as they make their way to the tip, their neighbours find a use for everything!

I loved that this story focuses on both individual action and the wider benefits to community and environment, without being too obvious about the power of diverting ‘rubbish’ away from landfill. It is ultimately about the shift in mindset towards ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. The whimsical yellows, pinks and purples of Blair’s watercolour illustrations contribute a loving homeliness that beautifully culminates in a delightful patchwork project. This might just be my favourite picture book of the year so far!

For ages 3+.

Clare Millar is from Readings online

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