Posts Tagged ‘Birthdays’

My Parents Cancelled My Birthday by Jo Simmons, illus. Nathan Reed.

September 1, 2019 Comments off

cancelledMy Parents Cancelled My Birthday by Jo Simmons, illus. Nathan Reed. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

This is an easy to read novel for primary and Intermediate readers who have a vivid sense of humour and imagination. It is what I call intelligent silliness and believe me  the weird things that go on will have you in stitches.

Tom is nearly eleven and he wants a birthday like one of his school mates had. Unfortunately things happen in his family that cause his parents to cancel his birthday.

It starts with the family pig named Tiny. He lives on the roof of the garage because there is no room elsewhere on their section. When Nana comes round with her chihuahua named Margherita, Tiny falls off the roof and squashes the dog flat. Tony puts it in a pizza box and buries it in the sandpit at the local nursery school.

There is uproar in Tom’s family. Nan is distraught, his younger sister Meg blames herself saying she is jinxed because the tooth fairy has neglected to leave money for her lost tooth. Father can’t finish the novel he has written and has a headache and mother is stressed by work. After Margherita got flattened Tom’s parents cancel his birthday.

Tom then goes into crazy overdrive to get his birthday back.

From the author of I Swapped my Brother on the Internet also reviewed on this blog. For reluctant readers.

You will laugh yourself silly. Nathan Reed’s illustrations enhance the humour and the characters superbly.

Mini Whinny by Stacy Gregg, illus. Ruth Paul.

October 26, 2018 Comments off

mini whinny.jpgMini Whinny by Stacy Gregg, illus. Ruth Paul. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

Cute little pony Mini Whinny has never had a birthday of her own simply because she is a horse. You see all horses have the same birthday on August 1st. I think it is to do with the racing industry.

As all the horses in the stable prepare for the big day Mini Whinny sulks, rolls in the mud and feels sorry for herself. Come the night when all the other horses are fast asleep Mini Whinny decides to have a party of her own.

Catastrophe! What will all the other horses say and do? Not to fear, Palomina Mini’s mum has the solution. Read it and find out what.

Stacy Gregg knows horses and while this is her first picture book the text is full of horse sense. Ruth Paul is an accomplished illustrator and she captures the essence of horse to a T. Mini Whinny will make you go aaaah. The eyes of the horses are particularly attractive, the horse does have the biggest eye of all the land animals.

For children 3-7 mainly girls I would suggest but you never know. Good read-a-loud.

Grandma’s Special Birthday Party by Sue Kim & Veronica Yang

February 16, 2018 Comments off

grandmas birthdayGrandma’s Special Birthday Party by Sue Kim & Veronica Yang. Pub. Second Avenue Publishing, 2017.

An International picture book about traditional clothing from a number of countries and International food dishes from the same countries as a side salad.

Picture books are about pictures, mostly, and the pictures in this beautiful publication are works of art. They are almost film sets such is the detail put into them. Into these sets are put doll characters whose moods are portrayed by adjustments to the dolls eyes. Their place in the settings is almost collage like and the dresses are magnificent.

Twins Abby and Ally are in every set as are their dogs Jerry and Harry but for me Grandma with her “I’ve been here before look” takes the biscuit.

The story is about grandma’s birthday and how she always had an International day featuring dresses from a range of countries when the twins mother and aunty were little girls. Abby and Ally decide to have one on grandma’s birthday.

Good read-a-loud story for juniors but something to look at and savour for much older readers. In the back is a glossary of all the dresses from other cultures and a message that we are all starting to learn from each other and wear similar clothes. My international picture book of the year.

Check it out at

Birthday Boy. What if it was every Day? by Davis Baddiel.Illus. Jim Field

October 9, 2017 Comments off

birthday boyBirthday Boy. What if it was every Day? by Davis Baddiel. Illus. Jim Field. Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

It is often said that if you see a shooting star you should make a wish and it will come true and wouldn’t it be great if it was your birthday every day. Combine these two ideas and you have an outline of the plot of this book.

This all happens to Sam Green and while he enjoys it for a while he soon learns that it is not all beer and skittles. It is all a bit selfish and imposes hardship on family and friends especially his younger sister Ruby who is the feel good character in this book.

Then Sam decides he doesn’t want his birthday every day and his Grandpa Sam who suffers from dementia goes missing. Is there a link? A gripping adventure follows as Sam and Ruby try to reverse the wish and find grandpa.

Very much written in the style of David Walliams and why not it is a winning formula.

Jim Field’s illustrations play a starring role in this novel but for me the best parts involved the four grandparents who squabbled and battled throughout.

This book will appeal to reluctant readers with great sense of humour and imagination and of primary and intermediate age. Get it it is a laugh.