#aww2018 · 2018 Reviews · children · new release · Picture book

Children’s Book Review: Birthday Baby by Jane Gowin & Davina Bell and Illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Title: Birthday Babybirthday baby small

Author: Jane Godwin & Davina Bell

Illustrator: Freya Blackwood

Published: July 25th 2018

Publisher: Allen & Unwin Children

Pages: 32

Genres:  Children (0-3)

RRP: $24.99

Rating: 4 stars

This delightful story from a winning team perfectly captures a baby’s birthday party.

Today is baby’s birthday.

Here come baby’s friends. Hello! 

Shy baby.

Friendly baby.

Sunny baby. 

Lazy baby. 

Who else will we meet?

My review:

Birthday celebrations are a rite of passage for our little ones. Author duo Jane Godwin and Davina Bell, along the illustration work of Freya Blackwood, have captured the true essence of a first birthday party for an infant, titled Birthday Baby. This charming and bright picture book is perfect for little hands aged 3 years and under.

The day has finally arrived, it is baby’s special day, its birthday time! There are many different babies who have come along to celebrate this special occasion. The guests at baby’s all important birthday party range from a shy baby to a dancing baby and a loud baby, there are just so many different babies to meet. Birthday Baby provides the perfect snapshot of a day in the life of a baby experiencing their birthday party for the very first time. It is a memorable occasion and we as the reader feel like an all important guest, sharing this first experience with wonder.

 Birthday Baby, penned by Jane Godwin and Davina Bell, is an essential picture book, as it captures an important life event in a child’s early life, their first birthday party. With two young children of my own, I have experienced my fair share of first birthday parties. I have hosted my own, while I have also attended many other parties given by other parents. Jane Godwin and Davina Bell work well to capture the mixture of happiness and utter chaos that defines this event. The prose and the illustrations have a strong sense of realism, depicting the joy and the pandemonium that goes hand in hand with the all important first birthday party. The text is simple, but relatable, it is touched with plenty of humour and a good dose of understanding.

Supporting the text in Birthday Baby is the work of illustrator Freya Blackwood. Blackwood’s style is in keeping with the overall themes of the book. The illustrations do jump out at you, in a good way and they support, rather than detract from the text itself. I admired Blackwood’s technique, her pencil work combined with watercolours transfers well onto the pages of Birthday Baby. I also loved the coloured confetti patterns used in the opening and back pages of this all round family pleaser.

Birthday Baby is a great book to turn to when you want to introduce the concept of birthday parties to your little ones, it will ease their minds and perhaps induce a sense of anticipation. It will be sure to leave a marked smile on the faces of young ones (aged 0-3) and those that are blessed with the chance to share this engaging picture book with a child.

Birthday Baby by Jane Godwin & Davina Bell and Illustrated by Freya Blackwood was published on 25th July 2018 by Allen & Unwin Children. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Birthday BabyJane Godwin, visit here.

To learn more about the author of Birthday BabyDavina Bell, visit here.

To learn more about the illustrator of Birthday BabyFreya Blackwood, visit here.

*I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Birthday Baby is book #83 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge


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