Happy Birthday Roly and Where Are You, Roly?, by Selena Chan and Michelle Katsouranis

Roly is a chubby purple puppy, which is hardly surprising when you realise that his father is blue and his mother pink. Kids will love his crazy colour and his cute face and they’ll like his adventures, too.

Both of these offerings have very simple storylines and lots of colour, and so are suited for very young children – aged up to four years. Where Are You, Roly? is a lift the flap book with each double page spread showing Roly hidden in various places – in a treehouse, behind the bubbles in the bath, behind books on his desk and so on with a simple but sturdy flap to be lifted or opened to reveal him. The text is patterned, with each page beginning with the question: Where are you, Roly? This is followed by Roly’s description of what he is doing, in simple rhyme, and his question, Can you see me?

Happy Birthday Roly is similarly simple, although slightly larger in format and without the flap feature. It is Roly’s birthday and he is preparing for his birthday party. He is planning to do a magic act for his friends but he has nothing special to wear. Until he opens his parents’ gift.

A feature of both books is the inclusion of notes for parents on the back cover, with simple suggestions for before, during and after reading the book. There are also further tips and activities avaialable at the publisher’s website.This cute pair would be suitable as a birthday gift and their sturdy pages make them likely to withstand the love they will get from toddler owners.

Happy Birthday Roly and Where Are You Roly?, by Selena Chan, illustrated by Michelle Katsouranis
Ibis Publishing, 2004