Saturday, July 14, 2007

A birthday for Jody

Today is Jody's birthday, so in her honor here is a round-up of my favorite picture books on birthdays.

A Birthday for Frances was a family favorite when we were children. While not all of Russel Hoban's Frances books stand the test of time well (Bedtime For Frances in particular--I don't think anyone would publish a book these days in which parents threaten to spank their child if she doesn't go to bed), this one is a timeless tale. Frances gets a chocolate Chompo candy bar for her younger sister's birthday gift, but she really wants to eat it herself. She struggles with issues of jealousy and generosity, but she manages to overcome and give Gloria her present.

Frank Asch's Happy Birthday, Moon is a beautifully illustrated, slow, sweet book about a bear who wants to give the moon a gift for its birthday. This is suitable for very young children because of its simplicity in both story and illustrations.

Vera B. Williams is the author/illustrator of two Caldecott Honor books, and Something Special For Me tells the story of Rosa, who gets to use the money her family saved all year to buy a special present for herself on her birthday. She resists buying things because her friends all have them and instead finds the perfect gift for her. If you enjoy this book, you can revisit Rosa's family in several other books by Williams.

Finally, both Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss have books with birthday themes. Carle's bright, bold illustrations in The Secret Birthday Message are a joy to look at and Dr. Suess's Happy Birthday To You features the Great Birthday Bird from Katroo, who knows just how to make a birthday fun and memorable.

So, Jody, happy birthday to YOU!


Wizards Wireless said...

Happy Birthday Jody!

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