Henrietta and the perfect night by Martine Murray
Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760290245
(Age: 4-8) Recommended. This fifth book continues the adventures of 'Henrietta the Great Go-Getter'. She is going to have a new sibling, start school and discover a friend. Henrietta is trying novel things such as sleepovers and performing in plays. Henrietta befriends a crying Olive Higgie on the first day of school. Although Henrietta herself is anxious, it is her kindness towards Olive that makes the first day enjoyable for them both. Henrietta's mother is quietly supportive, offering love and understanding whenever Henrietta needs it. Growing up, Henrietta the Great Go-Getter, is 'go-getting' and she believes she is very brave having a sleep over with Olive and dealing with Olive's big brother.
Henrietta feels jealous at first when Olive is given the lead part of Noah is the class play but she knows that to be a real friend she needs to congratulate and support Olive in the role. The last chapter is of course the arrival of the new baby and a surprising gift.
These small sized books are beautifully illustrated by Martine Murray and have a restricted palette of soft colours. My only complaint is that the white text on the light backgrounds are difficult to read. The simple drawings are appealing and have a child-like quality about them. Martine's stories are gentle and realistic. It is easy to submerge into Henrietta's wonderful world and experiences, enjoying apple trees, bugs and the occasional apricot slice.