Maggie Hutchings (text) and Felicita Sala (illustrator), Your Birthday Was the Best!, Affirm Press, March 2020, 32 pp., RRP $ 24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925972535
Your Birthday Was the Best! is the story of an unlikely (and one-sided) friendship.
The narrator of this story is a joyful cockroach who is having THE BEST TIME EVER at a young boy’s party. There are games, there’s food, there’s birthday cake – it seems the perfect day. The birthday boy however does not share the roach’s pleasure at having an insect as a special guest. And when the cockroach takes a quick nap on the cake and baby sister tries to eat it, things take a potential turn for the worse. Dad brings out IT. The vacuum. Our roach friend is sucked up.
Is this the end? Oh, no. It is just the beginning of another exciting adventure.
Sala’s images are delightful and, at times, delightfully disgusting. Her illustrations add a hilarious relatability to the story.
This tale about a misguided roach – the tenacious birthday guest nobody wanted – is sure to be a favourite with the under six crowd. A fun story about always seeing the positives in any situation.
Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens