Ready? Set. Birthday!

Random. (Step into Reading). Sept. 2022. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593563724; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593563717.
Gr 1-3–Raymond’s birthday is coming soon, and he finds it hard to wait. Mama tells him to go outside and play, but that doesn’t seem to help. His friend Roxy skates by, but Raymond, who has brown skin, doesn’t have skates and Roxy’s don’t fit. To get Raymond’s mind off his troubles, Papa enlists his and Roxy’s help washing the car, and time does fly! Finally, Raymond wakes up on the morning of his birthday. Now, instead of wanting time to fly, he wants to savor every moment. He receives the gift he really wants and has a happy birthday with his family and friend. This sequel to Ready? Set. Raymond! features short sentences and easy vocabulary words for newly independent readers. Anderson’s illustrations deftly capture the characters’ facial expressions as well as animated Raymond’s excitement about his birthday.
VERDICT This early reader, with playful, colorful illustrations that support a fun story about a child’s big day, will appeal to any child who has ever waited eagerly for their birthday to come. A first purchase for all early reader collections.

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