It’s been a long month and two days since my last post, but Christmas, travel, a proofreading blitz, and some random illnesses thrown in have made it a very busy month and two days! Today, however, is my birthday, and I’m using it to announce a new entry type: Themed Third Thursdays! Each third Thursday of a month (just like this one!), I’ll be posting a list of themed books with a short blurb instead of a full-blown review. The theme might be a holiday (like this one–birthdays!), an animal, a genre, a type of book, an author–anything! Leave me some (specific) ideas in the comments!
Where Is Baby’s Birthday Cake?, by Karen Katz (infant/toddler): This lift-the-flap board book will be as popular with the littlest ones as all the other Karen Katz books are. Baby looks everywhere for his cake and, of course, finds a variety of other things first.
Birthday Monsters and Happy Birthday, Little Pookie, by Sandra Boynton (toddler/preschool): The birthday monsters drop in early on hippo’s birthday, and they bring Cat-in-the-Hat-like disaster in their wake! Don’t worry, though; little hippo gets his happy ending!
Little Pookie (of What’s Wrong, Little Pookie? and others) is eager to start his birthday as soon as he can so he can get the most out of his day! His parents treat him to a day that’s all about Pookie (without making him a spoiled little piggy).
Betty Bear’s Birthday, by Gyo Fujikawa (preschool): This out-of-print book was one of my sister’s favorite books as a child; I think she had it memorized! It’s Betty Bear’s birthday, but none of her friends have time for her! Just when she’s starting to feel very sorry for herself, she’s in for a (predictable to us adults) surprise!
Happy Birthday, Moon, by Frank Asch (preschool/early elementary): This one was recommended by my sister-in-law who has three girls who love to read! Frank Asch is a classic author, and this is a classic book. One night, Bear decides it might be nice to give the moon a birthday present…if only he knew when the moon’s birthday might be!
Topsy and Tim Have a Birthday Party, by Jean and Gareth Adamson (preschool/early elementary): I haven’t read this particular title (but I’ll be ordering it for GirlChild’s fourth birthday, I’m sure!), but if it’s Topsy and Tim, I know it’ll be realistic and fun, and the target age group will like it. It appears from the cover that they’re turning five in this one (5 blue candles and 5 pink ones on the cake), and the Amazon preview pages show them at their party playing traditional games like Musical Chairs and Pin the Tail on the Donkey with their now familiar friends from other books.
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday, by Stan and Jan Berenstain (preschool/early elementary): I loved the Berenstain Bears when I was a child and purchased them obsessively from every school book fair (along with the Stephen Cosgrove/Robin James Serendipity books…a post for another time!). Now…not so much, but GirlChild and all the nieces adore them at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and to each her own (a phrase in the masculine that I’m trying to teach GirlChild to use instead of squealing, “Ew!” when Daddy eats something she wouldn’t like). Sister Bear is turning six, and her family is getting caught up in the excitement of planning her first big party. Sister Bear gets overwhelmed on the big day, however, and things just aren’t going right. However, as these books always go, it all works out in the end and everyone learns a valuable lesson. Small girls will like this one even if their parents get tired of reading and rereading it. (That’s what grandparents are for!) 😉
Striped Ice Cream, by Joan M. Lexau (elementary): I had this one in my classroom library when I taught fifth grade, but the protagonist is just turning eight, so I’d recommend it for a little bit younger. Becky’s family is scrimping to get by, and she is pretty sure she won’t even be able to have her favorite ice cream (Neopolitan, for those who wondered what striped ice cream was) to celebrate. She’s mostly hurt that, in the days leading up to her birthday, everyone seems to be especially mean and secretive around her. I’ll let you guess how it ends! 😉 This book was written in the late sixties, just a few years before Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and it likely contains some things that will seem out-of-date, but realistic, loving families, misunderstandings, and birthdays with ice cream will never go out of style!
11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass (upper elementary): By the author of A Mango-Shaped Space and Leap Day, this children’s choice award-winning book was recommended by my mother (a sixth-grade teacher). It’s Amanda’s 11th birthday. It’s the first one she hasn’t shared with her former friend Leo since their very first, and it’s all because of a misunderstanding at last year’s celebration. It’s not going well at all, and she can’t wait for it to be over, but the next day is her birthday again…and again…and again. Amanda learns through the repetition that sometimes the little things make a big difference. Mass has also written other birthday books about different girls turning 12 (Finally) and 13 (13 Gifts). (Information gleaned from the author’s website since I haven’t actually read this one yet!)
Well, I hope you find a book that your reader might like to read on his or her birthday this year. If you have any other suggestions for great birthday themed books, leave a comment!
Happy birthday to me, and have a great third Thursday!