Review Blog

Sep 07 2010

It's my birthday by Helen Oxenbury

cover image

Walker Books, 2010. ISBN 2781844287888.
(Age 2-5) Recommended. First published in 1993, It's my birthday is a welcome reprint of a lovely picture book by award winning author and illustrator, Helen Oxenbury. A small child, who could be either a girl or a boy, decides to make a cake for the upcoming birthday, but needs some help to obtain the ingredients. The child request help from animals in nearby houses to find everything that is needed to bake the cake. The hens provide the eggs, the cat the milk and butter and the bear finds the flour and so on until all the ingredients are found. Then all the friends bake the cake and have a wonderful time eating it.
Oxenbury's beautiful watercolours bring this story of cooperation and friendship to life. The animals are all beautifully drawn. Their facial expressions are happy and the fact that they stand on their hind legs like the little child adds an endearing and humorous note.
This is a lovely book to read aloud to a child who is celebrating a birthday. Making the cake for a birthday party could also be a follow up activity to the story. It is also great for discussions about cooperation and sharing. This is one that I will be keeping for my grandchildren.
Pat Pledger

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