I Love My Birthday by Giles Andreae (words) and Emma Dodd (illustration), published by Orchard Books
"Happy Too Too" declares our two year old daughter, reaching for this marvellous celebration of a young child's birthday. Her adaptation of the Happy Birthday to You song has already become one of her catchphrases.
This book is part of the excellent series written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Emma Dodd, which depict the unconditional love of a family for its littlest members. The smooth and light-hearted rhyme is perfectly matched to the pastel and primary palette of the bold and engaging illustrations.
The book follows the whole of the little one's birthday, starting with the early morning wake up (at 6.05am according to the clock in the parents' room) and morning cuddles (at 6.10).
Having recently hosted our daughter's second birthday party with a large group of family and friends, we empathise with the parents' effort of entertaining, clothing and feeding the children with one hand and blowing up balloons and hanging banners with the other.
But, as ever, it's the small things that count - the child in the book is of course excited about his presents, but is most thrilled by helping to make the cake, with its "naughty treats" and chocolate flakes.
When it come to the page with the lit candles our daughter loves trying to help blow them out, while we adults join the boy's mum in giving "a little sigh" when the front door closes as the last guests leave.
This brilliant book rightly celebrates a special annual event, but is a perfect choice to read throughout the year.