Title: The Birthday Invitation
Author: Lucy Rowland
Illustrator: Laura Hughes
Publisher: Bloomsbury
RRP: $12.99 (AUD)

The end papers, with birthday party paraphernalia of balloons, bunting, candles and hats, greet the reader in this book about a special birthday party. Ella writes her invitations but while delivering them she drops one. It is picked up by a wizard, who puts it in a bottle. The bottle is dropped and the invitation is then picked up by a pirate, and so on until the invitation is read by an array of characters. The invitation finally settles in Ella’s pocket again, who gets an enormous surprise when she opens her door to a large, unexpected crowd.

The rhyming text lends itself to reading aloud, making this book perfect for a story time group. The illustrations are colourful and effective. Direction is used to effect to show the travels and trail of the invitation. The characters receiving the invitation are varied and offer a great opportunity to introduce young readers to other literature featuring these.

This would be a fun read aloud for a young story time group, or in a young classroom. It would also make the perfect birthday gift for a young child, or a child planning their birthday party.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for sending this book for review.