32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Audrey and Lion are best friends and when Audrey sees Lion with a balloon she assumes it is his birthday. Even though it isn’t, it must be someone’s somewhere so they celebrate anyway. Together they move through the week celebrating special things until the day Lion looks forlorn because he seems to have nothing to celebrate. To cheer him up, Audrey pulls together all the things they enjoy and she has a party just to celebrate their friendship because sometimes it’s about acknowledging the ordinary rather than the extraordinary.
Like other reviewers, I found this to have some of the overtones of the simple logic of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends, a logic that little people love because it is so literal. With its soft watercolour illustrations, it is one that preschoolers will enjoy because they could be Audrey or Audrey could be their friend. It also opens up the possibilities for talking about the why and how of celebrations and how some families do things a little differently, even though cake may be the common element!
A CBCA Picture Book of the Year Notable for 2021.