How to Have a Birthday by Mary Lyn Ray

How to Have a Birthday

Mary Lyn Ray, Author

Cindy Derby, Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Fiction, Sep. 14, 2021

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes: Birthday, Traditions, Celebrations, Diversity

Opening“On the morning of your birthday you can tell already that the day is not like others.”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

YOUR BIRTHDAY is just one day out of the whole year, but the celebration of you is limitless. On this special day, filled with anticipation and delight, there could be gifts, traditions, or a quiet moment alone to contemplate being one year older.

This is a day to celebrate you and the day you were born. Whatever the day holds, the ordinary will become the extraordinary, so make a wish — it’s your birthday!

Why I like How to Have a Birthday

What a joyful book to read to children a few days before their birthdays to remind them what a miracle they truly are. Mary Lyn Ray’s book is not your traditional birthday book as it encourages children to think more deeply about their day of birth. The very first present is the gift of wonder — what will this day bring? How will you celebrate your day? 

The lyrical text follows follows three diverse families who celebrate with different traditions. Maybe there will be gifts, songs, pictures, balloons, and a cake or pie. Maybe you like to wish upon a shooting star. Or maybe you will want to try something you’ve never done before like visiting a animal rescue center. Some kids may follow family traditions, like measuring their height on the wall.

Cindy Derby’s stunning watercolor and pastel illustrations show children celebrating in different seasons — after all there are 12 birthday months. Her artwork beckons readers to turn the pages and leaves them with a smile on their faces as they think about their special day. This timeless book is for children and individuals of all ages.

Resources:  Ask kids what they would like to do on their birthday. What is their favorite desert? Is it cake, pie or baklava? Do they like to look at birth photos and their baby footprints? Would they like to try something new on their birthday like riding in a hot air balloon, spending a quiet day learning to fly fish or learning to ice skate? Would they like to start a new tradition like donating some of their books and toys to other kids — or asking partygoers to donate to a favorite cause. The possibilities are endless.

Mary Lyn Ray is the author of many acclaimed books for children, including the New York Times bestseller Stars, illustrated by Marla Frazee, as well as The Thank You Book, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, and The House of Grass and Sky, illustrated by E. B. Goodale. Mary Lyn Ray lives in South Danbury, New Hampshire.  Visit Ray at her website.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review.

 

Where’s Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search By Martin Handford

Where’s Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search

Martin Handford, Author and Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Activity Book, Sep. 24, 2021

Suitable for ages: 5-10 +

Themes: Santa, Holidays & Celebrations, Interactive Adventures, Activity Books

Publisher’s Synopsis

Christmas is coming, and Santa with it—if you can only find him! Luckily, Waldo fans have a cool wand to help them spotlight the jolly old guy in the dark.

Shake your sleigh bells, pull on your holiday sweater, and join in the festive madness! These night-time scenes are bustling with Santas getting ready for Christmas Eve. With the help of a magic slider to light up one spot at a time, can you find some very specific Santas—like the one whose stocking is threadbare? Or the ones who are slimmer than most? And by the way, where are Waldo and all his friends—Wenda, Odlaw, Wizard Whitebeard, and Woof? Featuring super-challenging searches as well as puzzles and games, Santa’s Spotlight Search promises many hours of merriment for seasoned Waldo fans and new followers alike.

Why I like this book:

Who doesn’t love Waldo? He’s timeless and full of good cheer in this edition. He brings back fond memories of sharing the Waldo books with my daughter, many years ago. And, yes adults will enjoy this holiday book.

It is the perfect travel book to take along on long car and plane trips to visit relatives. There are hours of fun in searching for all the different Santa’s. 

The magic slider is an interesting addition to the Waldo books.   There are special dark windows in the book that are illuminated when the child inserts the slider tool — it lights up just like a spotlight and challenges readers. It’s a lot of fun!  Perfect holiday gift book!

Martin Handford, the man behind the mind-boggling Waldo books, began his career as a freelance illustrator specializing in drawing crowd scenes. Handford’s Where’s Waldo? books have been immensely successful, selling more than 72 million copies worldwide in over 50 countries and 30 languages, including Egyptian, Korean and Hebrew. Each Waldo picture takes Martin several months to draw.” I can’t tell you how pleased I am that Waldo has taken on a life of his own,” he says. “I’d like to inspire children to open their minds to explore subjects more, to be aware of what’s going on around them. I’d like them to see wonder in places that may not have occurred to them.” Martin Handford lives in England.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPBF) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

**With the holidays approaching, this will be my last PPBF post in 2021.  I will resume my PPBF reviews Jan. 7, 2022.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review.