Where’s the Party?: A Picture Book Review

Where's the Party? by Ruth ChanGeorgie loves throwing parties. Parties with balloons. Parties with lights. Parties with cake and frosting. He especially loves parties with his friends.

When Georgie wakes up and decides today would be the perfect day for a party, he goes about getting a fabulous cake and inviting all of his friends. The only problem is that everyone seems too busy for a party.

When none of Georgie’s friends can come and all of his cake is eaten, Georgie wonders if today isn’t the perfect day for a party after all and decides to head home only to discover that his friends have been planning a party of their own as the perfect surprise in Where’s the Party? (2016) by Ruth Chan.

Where’s the Party is Chan’s picture book debut. It also features a small cameo by a favorite little elephant named Elliot for sharp-eyed readers.

The text in Where’s the Party is straightforward and plays well against the illustrations with sight clues as well as speech bubbles used for certain bits of dialogue. Each page includes small sentences of text–always well-integrated into the scene–making this picture book ideal for storytimes with readers of varied ages.

Chan makes full use of each page spread to create a dynamic and immersive picture book. White backgrounds highlight smaller illustrations (sometimes presented as framed pictures on the “wall” of the page) while also helping to showcase larger full-page illustrations. Background colors and edge-to-edge pages add further variety to the book’s design and layout.

Where’s the Party has a muted color palette that includes lighter tones and pastels which lend a delicate subtlety to the cartoon-style artwork. The lighting in each illustrations become darker as the story progresses to better match Georgie’s plummeting spirits. Fear not, though. Things quickly turn around for Georgie and the story ends with a surprise party and more cake.

Snappy text combined with bright and expressive illustrations make Where’s the Party? a great choice to read with groups or one-on-one. Chan’s cheerful and delightfully fun debut sets her apart as a picture book author to watch. Highly recommended.

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*