Age Range: 4 to 7
My daughter calls this beautifully illustrated book ‘Nola’s story’ which is so apt as throughout the book Nola struggles to accept that she is younger than her sister, Betty. How old you are and who is older / younger than you are very important to young children and One More Candle introduces the theme of age and getting older along with the sibling rivalry that can accompany it.
The Story: Nola and her sister, Betty, have a joint birthday party but Betty’s birthday cake has one more candle than Nola’s which makes Nola sad. The next birthday is the same. Throughout the year Nola asks various light sources (e.g. lanternfish, lighthouse, fireflies) to light another candle for her birthday but they can’t help. At Nola’s next birthday party she still has one less candle than Betty but then she opens her sister’s present and realises that her sister understands how she feels (I won’t spoil the surprise by revealing what is in the present!).
Conversations about age and who is older are so important to small children so my daughter completely identifies with this story, like any other child of her age she is not happy being the age that she is and wants to be older. That is Nola’s predicament in the story, she wants to be older. At four Nola was sad that she had one less candle than her sister, at five she was cross but by the time her sixth birthday comes along she has accepted the situation.
Author: Merry Susiarjo / Illustrator: Emmeline Pidgen