Your Birthday Was The BEST!

Having courage and being brave will help your students to persevere against challenges. Students will love developing strategies to rise to scary challenges and learn easy steps to help with being brave.
Through our funny, interactive and highly engaging adaptation of Maggie Hutchings’ CBCA Honours picture book our adorable cockroach will grow in courage, reflecting real life challenges that your students face.

Available Terms 1 & 2 – In-school & online

Book Cover for children's book Your Birthday Was The Best. The title is written in orange text across the top of the page. The background is white. The main image is of a slice of birthday cake. It's a sponge cake with green icing with cream and a red cherry on top. There is a friendly cockroach peeking around the right side of the cake. The cake is on a purple plate.


Key Themes: Bravery, Rising to challenges, Overcoming fears, Finding the best in situations, Resilience, Developing personal strengths

Curriculum Areas:  Personal & Social Capability; Health & Physical Education; Critical & Creative Thinking; English; Arts

Suitable for: Prep to Grade 6

Teacher resource pack included

Session length:  1 hour including Q&A

Online option available – see the details at the bottom of the page


“Theme of bravery. It reflects our school’s disposition of ‘embracing challenge’.” – Thangool State School, QLD

“Made a connection to real problems that children are dealing with.” – Holy Cross School, Trinity Park QLD

“Great links to theme of being brave and a good amount of silliness for the kids to enjoy!” – Dayboro State School, QLD

“I loved how the final song really brought home the theme of the performance… I also loved the attention to detail and how all parts of the performance were inspired by the illustrations.” – Ryan Catholic College, Kirwan QLD


About the show:

In October 2021, the Australian Government released the National Childrens Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and said:

“The foundations for lifelong mental health and wellbeing should be built during childhood. Within the education sector, supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing needs to be central to the frameworks and standards on which the education and early childhood systems are built.”

Our adaptation of Your Birthday Was The BEST! supports the development of a Wellbeing Culture in the school and delivery of the Self Awareness & Self Management elements of the Personal & Social Capability curriculum by demonstrating and applying positive behaviours and developing skills and confidence to achieve goals.


Show synopsis:

From Maggie Hutchings, the author of the best-selling Mermaid! and Unicorn!, and Felicita Sala, one of the world’s hottest new picture-book illustrators, comes the story of a plucky young cockroach who gate-crashes a birthday party – with hilarious results. Funny, silly and surprisingly cute, Your Birthday Was the BEST! is the perfect blend of downright gross and delightfully entertaining.
It’s an uplifting story with an insect protagonist who always looks on the bright side of life.

What we learn:

Our adaptation is told through the cockroach’s eyes and focusses on the themes of being brave and facing your fears, rising to challenges, and learning that maybe things aren’t actually as bad as they may seem.

Initially, our hero is terrified of being vacuumed up by “IT” and ending up in the big outside bin. But, when it happens, he learns that the experience isn’t actually as bad as he thought it would be.  From there we focus on the cockroach’s journey from when he lands in the bin to making the decision to return to the birthday party.

We have created characters who provide conflict for the Cockroach during his mission to get back to the party. After the cockroach is tipped into the bin, we explore the encounters he has with both the Worm and Aunty Sharon.

The Worm seeks to avoid change or facing challenges and wants to impress upon the cockroach that he should do the same. The Worm believes that the world outside the bin is dangerous and frightening and asks why anyone would want to take the risk when they have security and everything they need right where they are? The Worm works hard to undermine the Cockroach’s blossoming confidence. After his encounters with the worm, the Cockroach is left questioning if he would really want to go back.

Aunty Sharon also lives in the bin and is eccentric, gregarious and everyone’s favourite Aunty. The cockroach loves spending time with her, and she happily embraces his return. It is this family connection that poses the biggest challenge for the cockroach. Should he stay in the comfort of his family in the bin, or should he make the journey back across the treacherous garden (according to the Worm) back to the party?

During his reflection on these encounters, he becomes more doubtful about leaving and wonders if the Worm is right that going back to house would not make him happy.
At the show’s climax our protagonist makes the decision to face his fears. He faces up to the Worm’s stories, says a heartbreaking goodbye to Auntie Sharon, before taking the journey he expects to be terrifying and make his way back to the birthday party.

At the end of the show, when once again facing the prospect of being vacuumed by “IT” he’s excited to go back to the bin to see his family once again.

Resource pack:

Included in the cost is our teacher resource pack, which includes activities for both before and after the show, enabling teachers to expand on the material presented in the show.  This allows students to engage more thoroughly with the themes of Mr Huff over multiple lessons, deepening their understanding of the message.


After the performance we host a structured and informative Q&A session which supports the school’s delivery of the Critical and Creative Thinking curriculum. We discuss the themes raised in the show and support Inquiry Learning by discussing how we made the set, puppets, music, etc.

“Was great how it was run by you and not just the kids asking random questions. (10/10)”
– Bargara State School, Bargara QLD


Online option:

If it’s not possible for you to host a performance we have an online option.

How it works:
The professional recording is available for the whole week so you can watch it whenever, and however often, you like during that week.  The link is sharable with individual classes or students so you can watch the show in the way that works best for you.

A pre-recorded Q&A is attached to the performance, along with a Teacher Resource Pack.  The Q&A includes questions with the performers and the creative team and we’ll supply it as a separate link so you can refer to it whenever you want.


In-School pricing:

$6.95 (exc. GST) per student.

Please note there is a minimum fee of $799.25 (exc. GST) for up to 115 students


Online pricing:

Pricing is based on a fee of $85 inc. GST per class.  This assumes there are approx. 25 students per class so if your school has smaller class sizes let us know and we’ll work out a price with you.  When you enquire please indicate the number of students and the number of classes you wish to book for.