'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Guest Post: A Book-Themed Birthday Party

Today we welcome a new Kids Book Review contributor, Cat Conidi. You can read about Cat here and follow the links to her beautiful blog, Wouldn't It Be Loverly. Here, Cat shares with us the birthday party she recently held for her little boy.

An Oliver Jeffers Themed Second Birthday Party

A few weeks back we hosted our little man’s (he’s nicknamed “Bebito” which means baby boy in Spanish) second birthday party at a local park.

I think second birthday parties are a little difficult to host appropriately, because though he has some friends his own age the number of adults in attendance definitely outweighed the number of kids. Our house isn’t big enough to host immediate family and close friends which number around 30 people.

I love books and my lifelong relationship with them started as a child. I was very keen to instill this same love, joy and respect for books in the Bebito too and am thrilled beyond words that despite his supremely active personality he loves books and reading.

Last year we decided to theme his party each year around his favourite book. His first birthday party was a Where the Wild Things Are theme. This year we decided to go with an Oliver Jeffers book theme. The Bebito's particular favourite books are The Way Back Home and How to Catch a Star so we used a few elements from both books, stars, a rocket and a plane in particular. The Bebito loves the moon, stars and any mode of transportation so these books appeal to him immensely.

The Oliver Jeffers books are just gorgeous and would make a brilliant gift for any little boy in your life in particular. The same little boy features throughout and the whimsy and cleverness makes them a firm favourite at our place. The Bebito has affectionately named these books, "stars book" and "moon book" and we read them every day without fail. I love the recurring themes that appear in his books – the same boy in a variety of adventures.

The invitations used this image to set the scene:

After what felt like weeks on my feet and in my kitchen we dished up quite the morning tea - meatballs and savoury pastizzis (sorry, there are no pics as they’re not very exciting dishes to look at) and star biscuits with edible glitter, inspired by How to Catch a Star:

Martian spaceship cupcakes inspired by The Way Back Home:

Popcorn featured in The Way Back Home:

Hazelnut macarons which were made as we have some gluten-free diets to cater for:

And the absolute piece de la resistance, a moon cake featuring cake toppers from The Way Back Home made especially for us by the fabulous Cathie at melbourne epicure who even had the dilemma of how to ship them. She did a marvellous job and when I first spied them I grinned for about two hours. The Bebito gasped when he saw them and squealed, “Plane, boy, martian”. I was so nervous about the cake doing justice to Cathie's cake toppers but I'm quite happy with the way it turned out:

The party bags looked like this:

And included the images below with some A3 black card, various stickers including stars and moons together with little tidbits of coloured card to decorate the pictures. I also popped in some pencils, crayons, balloons and of course, some popcorn.

The weather goddess was kind to us and the sun shone for most of the time so our park location worked well. Although he's super sociable I think the Bebito was actually a tad overwhelmed by it all though the squeals of delight suggest he had a great time.

For his birthday we gifted the Bebito a copy of Lost and Found and it too has become a quick favourite. I think we’re officially Oliver Jeffers groupies around these parts!