Picture Book Review: One More Candle


One More Candle by Merry Susiarjo and Emmeline Pidgen

Age Range: 3 and up

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Twelve Elves Books (September 1, 2013)

Series: None

Source: Author sent for review

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Nola is just over a year younger than her sister Betty, and they decide
to have one big, shared birthday party every year rather than each
having a smaller one. But poor Nola gets upset that Betty always has one
more candle than her, and fruitlessly seeks help from all the
light-giving things she finds in the world outside. But just as she
begins to accept the reality of their different ages, the solution comes
as an enchantingly simple surprise. Emmeline Pidgen’s authentic and
imaginative illustrations bring this sweet and gentle picture book story
magically to life.
Amazon | Goodreads 

About the Author:

 Merry Susiarjo has a travelling spirit, a love of nature and strong
family bonds that all feed into her writing. Born in Indonesia in 1979
and grew up there until the age of fifteen with her two brothers and two
sisters, the dynamics, conflicts and affections of the family started
to inspire her at a young age. Now living in France with a husband and
three children of her own, she can appreciate sibling relationships as
an observer as well as a sister. Her imagination is wonderful in the
true sense of the world, her stories ripe with vivid contemplations of
childhood that take the reader through the magic of discovery, nature
and family love.

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About the Illustrator:

Emmeline Pidgen
is a gold-award winning illustrator fighting her way through the
freelance jungle. Her work specialises in strong use of character,
colour and narrative for both children and grown-ups.
Since graduating with a
BA (Hons) Illustration degree from University College Falmouth in 2010,
Emmeline has worked with a range of clients worldwide.
Emmeline has
recently been shortlisted as one of five nominees for the Design Week
Rising Star Award 2013.

Emmeline’s first picture book ‘The Flyaway
Blanket’ won the Gold Award for bedtime stories – picture books in the
prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards 2012.
Emmeline’s second major picture book ‘Silvester and the New Year’ was
published in Nov 2012 and she’s currently working on her sixth.
CV with publication list, awards and further details, is available here.
‘Pidgen’s cheerful artwork is
reassuring, with a bright palette, loose, sweeping lines, and plenty of
attention on mother-child tenderness, human and animal alike.’ –
Publishers Weekly ’11 (about The Flyaway Blanket)


My Thoughts:

This is such a sweet little story about a girl who can’t understand why
her birthday cake has fewer candles than her older sister’s. The
irrational thought process of little children is portrayed fairly
accurately, and I think that kids will relate to it.

My favorite part of the book is the end, when Nola’s older sister gives
her an extra candle as a birthday present. Throughout the entire book,
Betty is a kind and understanding sister that takes great pains in
consoling Nola.

I really like the illustrations. The colors are soft, pastel hues that
add to the “sweet” effect. Emmeline Pidgen has a perfectly imperfect
style that is warm and inviting. Her artwork makes me want to snuggle
with my kids in an oversize blanket while we discuss everything
happening in the book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange
for an honest review.


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  • Reply
    Alise (Readers In Wonderland)
    September 2, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    This one has a really cute premise, I agree. I remember thinking that way when I was younger. The illustrations sounds great and I love how they kept the sweet theme.

    • Reply
      September 3, 2013 at 1:42 am

      I didn't have any sisters, so I never felt this way. But my own kids do this ALL the time.

  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    September 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Aw! Sister love <3
    I don't think kids think in an irrational way more like they think in an abstract way. They think of endless possibilities. I can't believe that Betty was so patient with Nola. I guess she's at that age where she doesn't think selfishly yet.

  • Reply
    Renee C.
    September 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Oh yes, we loved this one too! The illustrations and text go so beautifully together! 🙂

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