Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 27, 2021

Book Giveaway: THE PERFECT PARTY by Laurel Jackson

Laurel Jackson has a new picture book THE PERFECT PARTY, illustrated by Hélène Baum-Owoyele and published by Yeehoo Press. They have agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Laurel and Hélène.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and receive an extra ticket. Thanks!


A delightful story about the beauty of different cultures and the strength of collaboration.
It’s Little Robin’s birthday, and all the zoo animals want to help him celebrate! Yet with each animal comes different ideas from around the world. So how does one plan the perfect birthday party? First, there’s music! As all the eager creatures join in for a birthday song, what should have been harmonious music turns into chaos: mooing, yelping, braying, and squawking! And then there’s the food! Everyone has their own favorite meals, and no one can agree on anything. But amidst all the noise rings one true note–the recipe for a perfect party? Friends who want to celebrate!
From author Laurel Paula Jackson and illustrator Helene Baum comes a delightful story about the beauty of different cultures and the strength of collaboration. Make this your special gift for any young reader and animal lover celebrating a birthday!


My most beautiful and memorable childhood memories are wrapped around experiences of food and travel. Every single year my parents would take me and my two brothers to a different country around the globe, where we would experience a new culture, meet new people, learn different languages and eat deliciously different types of food.

I enjoyed the distinct characters and flavours of the various cultures, and the more I travelled, the more I realised that human beings have so much more in common that they have differences.

Shortly after I moved to Germany, I read a book to the daughter of a friend of mine. The book was a farm book. I tried to make the reading lively by imitating the animals sounds. The second I made the rooster sound, as I know it in English, cockadodldoo-the little girl daughter broke out laughing and told me that roosters say kikeriki, not cock-a-doodle-doo.

I was intrigued to discover that each animal has its own distinct sound in each language.

I assumed that cats always meowed, and that frogs always ribbit.

Not at all. Each culture has their own interpretation of how animals sound and when my daughter asked me if animals from various countries have different languages like people, the idea for the perfect party was born.

The initial drafts were chaotic conversations between the various animals, lacking an appealing plot, in my opinion.

I held a cooking class for a group of international children to help them to get to know each other, despite their linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The idea was to allow each child to create their own muffin recipe and share it with the group. In the end, they all collaborated to create a massive batch of muffins. Each child added their own personal ingredients as they took turns stirring and mixing and adding. I was not expecting a tasty end result, I must say. However, to my astonishment, the end result was simply magnificent and the children loved what they are collaboratively created.

And that was it. The perfect recipe was created for the book! I completed the book fairly quickly after that experience and let it sit for a while, trying to decide what my next step would be.

A friend of mine read through the manuscript, loved it and said that she had the perfect illustrator for it.

I invited my friend and the illustrator, Hélène over for a lunch. Hélène read through the manuscript , loved it, and within a couple of weeks, sent me her drawings of a couple of pages. It was a delight to see the characters come to life and I immediately fell in love with her flowing lines and soft colours. We were a team from that moment.

I was told that is not standard at all to submit a manuscript to an American Publishing house along with the illustrations, unless you are a writer/ illustrator. A writer and editor friend of mine suggested that I submit my manuscript to international publishing houses since I am based in Berlin, Germany but wrote the manuscript in English.

Helen Wu was featured in a blog post that really grabbed my attention and I decided to submit to Yeehoo press. I received an offer a few weeks later and will never forget that day. It was my daughter’s 6th Birthday. It was also the day that she asked me what I wanted to become when I grow up. Clearly my work as a global educational consultant did not impress her in the least. I laughed nervously at her question. Before I could even think of a response, I heard my voice say: I want to become an author to inspire children around the world to relays how connected we are.” I was shocked at how easily those words flew out of my mouth. My daughter replied with another question: So, where are your books, then?

That was the day that I committed to follow my dream of becoming an author and am delighted that Yeehoo is publishing my first book.

Working with Yeehoo Press has been a delight. Due to the various versions in Chinese and English, there was a bit of alteration in both text and illustration to ensure that we were being culturally sensitive. The core message of the book is twofold: It is about the importance of collaboration. It also indicates that every single person has something beautiful to offer.


Laurel P. Jackson, PhD grew up in several countries around the world and writes stories that inspire readers to think about their connection to others. Laurel works as an international educational consultant for governmental institutions and has initiated a number of projects to empower children. She lives in Berlin, Germany and loves creating delicious recipes for friends and family. You can visit her online at:


Hélène Baum-Owoyele is an afropean illustrator and graphic designer living in Berlin.​ Her artworks have been used in various contexts, from editorial pieces and children’s books to advertising, with clients such as:

The New York Times, Vox, Harvard Business Review, WDR, Radcliffe Magazine, Branch, New Statesman, Tate, Psychologie Heute, C40 Cities, Scoop Magazine, Penguin Random House, Hasso-Plattner-Institut, CFFP, Octopus Publishing Group, The Washington Post’s ‘The Lily’, Familiar Faces, Women Who Do Stuff. You can visit Hélène at:

Laurel, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. This really looks like a fun animal party. You cooked up a great Party recipe for this book and Hélène made us feel like we were part of the bash., Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I love the premise of THE PERFECT PARTY, and I am so glad this colorful collaboration found a home! Glueckwunsch! Your story would be a great companion to my own NO PARTY POOPERS! where the best party is pawsitively one where everyone belongs.


  2. What a wonderful idea for a picture book! This looks beautiful, wishing you the best of luck with it.


  3. Congrats, Laurel and Hélène! I love the colorful illustrations. (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)


  4. So lucky to have had a wonderful childhood full of travel – love your book’s concept. Congrats!


  5. I love the idea of this book! Congratulations on your success and gorgeous work. I’m an email subscriber and shared on social:


  6. What a perfect party indeed–lots of energy and fun!


  7. A party full of animal guests does sound perfect! Those illustrations are gorgeous. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)


  8. I love the story behind your story, Laurel! And how lucky you were to have parents that exposed you to different cultures at an early age. Congratulations to both you and Helene on a wonderful story with illustrations to match.


  9. Enjoyed this! So fun and festive. (Kathy, I am a subscriber). Thanks for sharing!


  10. So much fun! Who doesn’t love a party? And a perfect one…Can’t wait to read it! Congrats!

    I follow by email and I will tweet this post. 🙂


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