Children’s Library: Birthdays

Children’s Library: Birthdays

June 2, 2011, Epoch Times

Books celebrating a little one’s big day


A child’s birthday is such a joyous occasion. As the days are counted down and excitement mounts, a birthday-centric story is a great way to revel in the anticipation of a little one’s big day.

The following titles are thoughtful and full of heart. Enjoy the celebration.

It’s My Birthday by Helen Oxenbury (Candlewick Press)
This very simple board book starts out simply with a young child’s declaration, “It’s my birthday and I’m going to make a cake.” With each turn of the page, the story builds. To a chicken, the child says, “It’s my birthday and I’m going to make a cake. I need some eggs.”

“I’ll get you some eggs,” the chicken offers. The child encounters other animals who help in different ways, until finally, they all help to eat the cake. “Happy Birthday,” they exclaim. Adorable illustrations, a simple, singular focus, and the gathering of friends in celebration culminate to a truly sweet story that can be read again and again. The last page of the book contains a recipe for a birthday cake, which the child can learn to make with the help of parents.

The Birthday Tree by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Barry Root (Candlewick Press)

When a couple plants a tree in honor of their son’s birth, the connection between the boy and the tree is a remarkable one. When he is shivering, the tree’s branches shiver; when he is happy the tree thrives and squirrels play in its branches. When one day, the grown boy decides to go to sea, the tree’s state becomes the couple’s indicator of their son’s well-being. A unique story highlighting the tradition of planting a tree upon the birth of a child, The Birthday Tree is thoughtful and well told.

A Birthday for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton (Candlewick Press)

“Bear didn’t like birthdays. …he didn’t like anything to do with birthdays at all.” In the second installment of Becker’s wonderful Bear and Mouse series, the friendly and jovial Mouse pulls out all the stops to convince his friend Bear of the joy in celebrating his birthday. Will Bear come around? This lighthearted story of friendship will have young readers laughing out loud and anticipating each next scene with excitement.

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