The Perfect Party by Laurel P. Jackson, illustrated by Hélène Baum-Owoyele. Yeehoo Press, 2021. 9781953458124
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Fantasy/animal sounds
What did you like about the book? It’s Little Robin’s birthday, and his animal friends cannot agree on food or music for the party. They keep getting sidetracked on the different onomatopoeia for the sounds they make, disagreeing on Portuguese Mr. Rooster’s “Cocoricó,” and the Pacific Tree frog’s “Ribbit. Ribbit.” After Ms. Water Buffalo succeeds in getting the animals to sing together, more disagreements about food start up. Finally, everyone is satisfied when all the food mixes together, showing that sharing different traditions makes for the best outcome – “the perfect party.”
The watercolor art is just wonderful – joyful rainbow hues with watery textures show animals realistically, whether from land, air or sea. There’s a lot going on on each page – a party, onomatopoeia differences, food differences, and a very busy page composition. Text, illustrations and words for animal sound floating across the page echo the chaos of the party planning, but it does make it a bit hard to keep track of the story. Still, kids will enjoy the joyful animal depictions, and, with an adult’s help, should be able to track their sounds and the story.
I would love to see more from this illustrator!
Anything you didn’t like about it? See above. It’s a very busy book, design wise, and it could have benefitted from more editing.
To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 3-6, when you want to share books about birthdays or language based animal sound differences.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: September 28, 2021