Today is my daughter's third birthday (can you believe it?). I suppose that I'll have to stop calling her "Baby" Bookworm eventually. But not quite yet! In honor of her birthday, I'd like to share some of our favorite birthday books.
Birthday Monsters by Sandra Boynton. Workman. Board Book. This has been one of our family's favorite read-aloud books since Baby Bookworm was tiny. My husband especially enjoys it (and he tends to be very hard to please when it comes to children's books). We've read this one so much that is has entered into our family vocabulary. Like if it happens to be 6:08 someone might say "It's 6:08." Then someone else would respond, "Your present-opening can't wait." Birthday Monsters is a book that truly lends itself to reading aloud, and showcases Boynton's genius.
Happy Birthday, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton. Robin Corey Books. Board Book. This has been another longtime household favorite. Baby Bookworm especially loves it when Pookie is so excited to start his birthday that he wakes his parents up at the crack of dawn (they later need a nap). Hmmm. Perhaps we shouldn't be reading this one around Baby Bookworm's birthday after all. This book inspired us to acquire all of the other Pookie books, but I think this is the best of them.
Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party by Melanie Watt. Kids Can Press. Picture Book. Reviewed here. In truth Baby Bookworm is still a little young to appreciate the humor of this one. But it is one that all Scaredy Squirrel fans should own. Basically, Scaredy tries to plan his own, completely safe, birthday party. But when his friend dog becomes involved, things change (becoming less safe, but more fun). There are tons of tiny details in this book to entertain adults or older children. But Scaredy's cuteness will appeal to younger readers, too.
Happy Birthday, Hamster by Cynthia Lord (ill. Derek Anderson). Scholastic. Picture Book. We are big Hamster fans in our house. See my review of Hot Rod Hamster. Not sure why I never reviewed Happy Birthday, Hamster, but I can tell you that we read it all the time. It's taken Baby Bookworm a while to completely appreciate what's going on in the story (Hamster's friends pretend that they have forgotten his birthday, only to surprise him at the end). But she loves all of the birthday trappings (cake, presents, balloons, etc.), and the participatory nature of the story (the text asks, frequently "Which would you choose?").
A Birthday for Bear by Bonny Becker (ill. Kady MacDonald Denton). Candlewick. Early Reader. Bear and Mouse are also popular in our household year-round (see my reviews of A Visitor for Bear and A Bedtime for Bear). Baby Bookworm gave a little gasp of joy when she spotted this book in the Early Reader section of the library. She enjoyed it so much that the Easter Bunny put a copy in her Easter basket this year. Although technically an Early Reader, A Birthday for Bear reads much like the other books in the series. Baby Bookworm especially enjoys pointing out Mouse in this one, even as he disguises himself as a mailman, and even as Santa.
The Cake that Mack Ate by Rose Robart (ill. Maryann Kovalski). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Picture Book. This one is only loosely a birthday book. It's about the entire food chain that's required to produce a birthday cake, a cake that is, sadly, eaten by Mack the dog. We have a paperback edition of this book, and it's one that we frequently take on trips with us. It has a nice cadence for reading aloud, and never gets old.
And finally, two books that aren't birthday books but that end with birthday parties (and with which we always sing Happy Birthday).
Bear's Busy Family by Stella Blackstone (ill. Debbie Harter). Barefoot Books. Board Book. This was more a favorite when Baby Bookworm was a bit younger, and I still know it by heart. It celebrates the different things that various family members do ("Smell the bread my Grandma bakes", etc.). At the end, all of the family members and their contributions come together for a feast for Baby's birthday.
Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers (ill. Marla Frazee). HMH Books. Various Editions (we have the lap-size board book). Reviewed here. This book remains one of our all-time favorites. Each page spread features a different aspect of the life of babies. For example, "Every day, everywhere, babies are fed." Then rhyming text, and pictoral vignettes, give more specific examples (in this case, of what babies eat). Frazee's illustrations include multicultural babies, and families of all types. But Baby Bookworm just likes seeing so many pictures of babies. At the end of the book, a baby celebrates her first birthday.
We have other books floating around the involve birthdays, but these are our favorites. What are your family's favorite birthday books?
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