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Friday, September 14, 2012

Birthday Books

Photo courtesy of Photos Public Domain

My son Ben will turn seven next week.  He's been counting down the days for over two months now, and makes sure that everyone he meets knows his birthday is coming up!  I remember the days when I thought my birthdays were exciting, too -- I was just like Ben!  I think most kids are.  In celebration of birthdays, I want to share some fun books about those special once-a-year events.

When I first started thinking about birthday books, two popped into my mind immediately.  These are books that I've enjoyed ever since I was a young kid myself, anxious for my birthday to finally arrive:

Happy Birthday to You!,
written by Dr. Seuss, 1959

The Birthday Bird takes readers on a trip to Katroo in this joyous story, told with typical Dr. Seuss style.  In this whimsical land, birthdays are a big day -- a celebration of all the things that makes each individual special and unique. "Today you are you!  That is truer than true!  There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"

This book makes a great birthday gift for people of all ages, child or adult.  In fact, the copy I photographed above is one that I bought to give to Ben next week.  (Shhh... don't tell him!)


Little Gorilla,
written and illustrated by Ruth Bornstein, 1976

Everyone in the forest loves Little Gorilla... even when he's not so little anymore.

We received this story in board book form when my oldest, Emmalie, was a toddler.  It has been a family favorite ever since!   This sweet little story with its charming pictures lets kids know that even as they change and grow older, they will always be cherished by their loved ones.


I also went to the library earlier this month, in search of birthday books.  I found quite a few, though several were already checked out. Here are the ones we brought home that Ben and I liked the best:

I Love Birthdays,
written and illustrated by Anna Walker, 2008

Ollie, a zebra-like creature, lists all the things he loves about birthdays in this simple, rhyming text.

Ben and I really liked the endearing watercolor illustrations in this book, as well as the happiness that little Ollie exudes!


Little Lizard's Big Party,
written and illustrated by Melinda Melton Crow, 2011

It's Gary the lizard's birthday and he wants to have a party.

This book for beginning readers expresses all the excitement of a child on his birthday through its colorful illustrations and short, easy-to-read sentences.


What's Cookin'?: A Happy Birthday Counting Book,
written and illustrated by Nancy Coffelt, 2003

One by one, ten cooks arrive in the kitchen to help bake a birthday surprise.

This book not only teaches young readers to count, it also offers brief lessons on baking and cooperation.  Ben and I enjoyed the rhyming text and the fun pictures.


Happy Birthday, Bertie!,
written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister, 2010

Bertie prepares for his birthday party with the help of his daddy.  (And his father tries to remember where he put Bertie's gift!)  Soon the birthday boy's guests arrive and the festivities begin!

With cute, brightly colored pictures and a plot that kids can relate to, this was Ben's favorite of the birthday books we brought home.


Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party,
written and illustrated by Melanie Watt, 2011

Scaredy Squirrel is a worrywart who likes everything just so. Not a fan of crowds, he plans a birthday party for one, figuring out every tiny detail ahead of time.  When he receives a birthday card in the mail from his friend Buddy, however, Scaredy decides that maybe he could invite one guest.  Little does he know that mayhem will soon ensue!

This silly story cracked me up!  (Ben, too.)  I loved the hilarious, detailed drawings and Scaredy's quirkiness. Apparently Watt has created several other books about this amusing character, including Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend (2007), Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach (2008), and Scaredy Squirrel at Night (2009).  I haven't read them yet, but plan to soon!


The Best Birthday Ever!,
written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper, 2011

Birthdays come only once a year, which leaves 364 days to practice for the next one.  Lana Kittie offers advice on how to make your birthday the "most specialist day ever", including what to wear, what to serve, and how to act when you're opening gifts.

Who knew a book about birthday manners could be so entertaining?  This humorous story keeps its readers giggling from beginning to end.


How about you -- do you still get excited about birthdays? What are your favorite birthday books?  I'd love to hear about them!

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