Due to the recent spate of birthdays, I have been thinking about birthday books. Surprisingly, it was harder to come up with books for this list than I thought. I am sure I am missing a few obvious ones, so let me know.
I loved this picture when I was little. It was everything parties should be.
It is from Eloise Wilkin's and Josette Frank's Poems to Read to the Very Young
An excerpt from the poem.
Nobody has scolded me,
Everyone has smiled.
Isn't it delicious,
To be a birthday child?
Spring Story by Jill Barklem
Another Brambley Hedge book. This is the story of young Wilifred's birthday. The old, he thinks everyone has forgotten, but they are actually throwing him a marvelous birthday picnic plot. But it is delightful, none-the-less.
I love this picture. Actually, I just love Jill Barklem's illustrations.
Sunlight streaming in....
Who wouldn't love to bake in this darling kitchen?
The resulting food
Junie B Jones and Meanie Jim's Birthday by Barbara Park
I had a thing against Junie B for awhile, due to her attitude and horrible grammar. But Mom talked me out of it. And the kids do love them. And they make me laugh. This particular one is about a boy who will not invite Junie B to his birthday, due to Junie B's telling him she would never go to his birthday party if it was the last thing she did. She steals a quiet little kids invitation, just so she has one and generally behaves badly and outrageously throughout the whole book. That is why we love Junie B though. All the delightful badness.
Hooper Humperdink...? Not Him! by Theo Lesieg
This is another story about uninvited kids. It is the ultimate kid's revenge. The narrator plans the most marvelous party ever, inviting a large crowd, from A-Z, but leaves out Humperdink. "Nobody wants to play with Hooper. Humperdink's a party-pooper." By the end of the book, this elaborate party fantasy has made him forget why he is mad at Humperdink and decides he will ask him after all.
This book would probably be labeled as bullying, but it is mostly just the way a kid's mind works. Sort of like Calvin and Hobbes dreaming of blowing up Calvin's school.
(This never actually says this is a birthday party, but I think it is.)
"All my good friends from A-Z!
The biggest gang you'll ever see!
The biggest gang there'll ever be!
A party big and good as this
is too good for anyone to miss!
And so you know, I sort of think..."
Shrewbettina's Birthday by John S Goodall
This is a sweet little wordless book.
Most of John Goodall's books have a charming little gimmick. This one has small little pages inside the larger pages, which changes the scene. Here, Shrewbettina is sleeping...
Flip the little page, and she wakes up.
Her purse is stolen on the way to the market to shop for her birthday supper...
...but a handsome gentleman mousie captures the bad guy and brings it back. Then escorts Shrewbettina on her errands.
Working hard for her party
Greeting her guests.
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Our copy has lost its cover, so I stole this from Amazon. Hence, the drastically improved lighting in this picture.
Sister bear's birthday is coming up. Mama cautions against going too crazy, but as you can see by Brother, Sister, and Papa's eyes and schemes they don't listen.
Which results in an over-excited, over-tired little girl who bursts into tears at her birthday. This book is why I don't throw big birthday parties for my kids. Ahahaha! Okay, not really.
A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban
I adore the Frances books. I just noticed the other day, that all the titles start with B's. Or sort of. Birthday, Bargain, Baby Sister, Bedtime, and Best Friends. So I guess I just have an affinity to them due to the B-ness.
Mother is getting ready for Gloria, Frances' little sister's birthday and Frances feels left out, so she goes and sings and song with her imaginary friend Alice.
Then Frances decides she needs to buy Gloria a present. So she goes to town with her father to buy Gloria some bubble gum and a Chompo Bar. On the way home, the gum somehow makes it into her mouth and she has severe doubts about surrendering the Chompo bar to Gloria. Love this passage. Father says he will keep the Chompo bar safe for her.
Gloria and her cake. All is well at the end, the sisters are friends again.
Mockingbird by Allan Ahlberg
The song Mockingbird is mostly about bribing your child to be quiet, with more and more elaborate and expensive gifts. This rendition makes it about a baby's first birthday, which makes more sense.
It is very sweet. My kids love it.
Toot & Puddle A Present for Toot by Holly Hobbie
I can't find my copy of this (or the next), so I am stealing all these images from online. I love the Toot and Puddle books and illustrations. They are marvelous. This book is about Puddle trying to find the perfect present for Toot. Which ends up being a parrot. Natch. All very darling.
Just look at these illustrations! Squeak!
And of course, a list about Birthday books would not be complete without Dr. Seuss's
Happy Birthday to You!
All sorts of delightful quotes in this one.