by Catherine Hannken
Wellington, New Zealand: Mallinson Rendel
Fiapule is devastated when Mum and Dad tell him he can’t go to his best friend’s birthday party, because it falls on the same day as his new baby sister’s christening. As he struggles with having to miss out on the party food, magician and treasure hunt, Fiapule’s Dad reminds him about the importance of family and togetherness. Fiapule learns that family must always come first, as is the way of his Samoan culture. As it turns out, he does not completely miss out on the birthday party fun after all! This book was nominated because of its focus on the strength of family, culture and tradition in Samoan culture. It also was nominated because it represents a true experience that children can understand and relate to, as well as accurate illustrations and use of Samoan words.
A New Zealand Curriculum-linked activity for this book can be found here.