Not Like Georgie, by Scott Hatcher

Jimmy isn’t coming to my birthday party.
He’s working at his family’s restaurant.
And Matt isn’t coming.
His Dad is having an operation.
And Rosa isn’t coming either.
She’s going to her Uncle Nick’s
third or fourth wedding.
She can’t remember which.

A small boy is having a birthday party. Invitations have been given to many children, but one by one, the invitees decline. Some of the responses seem genuine, others have the sound of excuses. But the boy doesn’t mind. Each page shows a child doing what they’ve said they’ll be doing rather than attending the boy’s party. But of course the illustrations show so much more. Jimmy, who has to work in his family’s restaurant may be carrying crockery, but there’s a cake missing and his cheeks are bulging. But no matter, the main character is unfazed by their inability to attend. None of these children, singly or as a group can do the things that he can do with his best friend Georgie.

Not Like Georgie is less a story about a birthday party and excuses and more about friendship. Not the ‘everybody is your friend’ kind of friendship, but the special best-friendship that can make the simplest things seem wonderful. It is the triumph of quality over quantity. Anticipation about whether Georgie too will offer an excuse and not come to the party, keeps the pages turning, lest the boy have no one at his party at all. Children will also enjoy the humour and detail in each image. The illustrators have captured so much emotion, personality and more in each character – even the sun-shading seagulls have personality! Recommended for 4-7 year olds.

Not Like Georgie, Scott Hatcher ill Heather Potter & Mark Jackson
Walker Books 2008
ISBN: 9781921150364