I Really, Really Don’t Like Parties by Angie Morgan

I Really, Really Don’t Like Parties – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: A celebration of quieter children!
Children’s book title: I Really, Really Don’t Like Parties.
Children’s author: Angie Morgan.
Genre: Picture book.
Published by: Otter-Barry Books.
ISBN: 9781915659231.
Recommended for children aged: 3+ year-olds.
First published: Hardback April 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: helping children recognise their individuality and that they need not feel alone.

I Really, Really Don’t Like Parties by Angie Morgan

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Our review:

The dedication at the start of this Otter-Barry gem says it all: ‘To all children who just like to sit quietly in trees’. We have worked so hard to increase inclusivity and representation of many marginalised groups, and yet, despite this increased understanding of many groups, those children who are naturally shy and find social situations more of a challenge still tend to be under-acknowledged, or worse, viewed as spoiling the fun.

This is a title for those children. It recognises and empathises with all those feelings quieter children might experience when faced with an invite to a party. It normalises the excuses for not attending children might think up, it acknowledges the overwhelming feeling of the number of children attending and the noise this will create, it offers solidarity when the mum fails to listen to Dora and tells her ‘You’ll have a lovely time”.

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Yet what this picture book also offers is companionship in the portrayal of Dora finding a kindred spirit lurking beneath the tablecloth where it is quiet and calm. Together Dora and Tom discuss their shared dislike of parties and find a way forward. Importantly the story also depicts Dora’s changed response when she receives another invitation following her friendship with Tom – this allows the reader to not only see that feelings can change and that is ok, but also encourages children to keep inviting others and finding ways to help them fit in.

I Really, Really Don’t Like Parties is a lovely, simple picture book with a clear intention. It will have extra appeal to fans of Lauren Child’s ‘I will not…’ series, which the text is very like in style, and also to Emily Gravett fans as Morgan’s illustrations evoke this approach.

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Our verdict:

I Really, Really Don’t Like Parties is a perfect title for supporting the very young with their first explorations into the world of children’s parties, or indeed any example of attending their first events without an adult. This can be a daunting and difficult step for some children, especially those who are naturally quieter or more reserved and this book does a great job of reminding them that their preferences are just as valid and, critically, that there are others who will share their preference for peace!

Many thanks to Otter-Barry Books for the review copy.

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If you like I Really, Really Don’t Like Parties by Angie Morgan you might also like: Alfie Gives a Hand by Shirley Hughes, Penguin by Polly Dunbar, Not Now Bernard by David McKee, I Will Not Ever, Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child and Wombat Goes Walkabout by Michael Morpurgo.

Browse our EYFS picture book list.

About Anna Rushall

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A passionate advocate for English, having taught all year groups across the primary phase and led English for much of the last twenty years, Anna is now using her lifelong enthusiasm for literature to support schools with their English provision on a consultancy basis. LinkedIn | Twitter/X | Reviews by Anna Rushall