Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish

illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. 48p. Putnam. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524741549. POP
PreS-K–Every child longs for their birthday and spends hours dreaming about the big day, and the rules in this joyful book will feel completely familiar to many ("Rule no. 2: You must have a PARTY!"; "Rule no. 8: You must make a Wish"). Children will especially love reading and rereading this book to laugh about the exceptions to the 10 birthday rules and to point out fun details of Lichtenheld's anthropomorphic animal drawings. Every birthday rule has at least one exception, and each one is silly, charming, or both. For example, food, streamers, confetti, and balloons are great for a party unless you are an animal that is "pointy in any way." If so, author Ferry observes that these animals might want to "skip the balloons," and Lichtenheld's illustrations of a rhino, swordfish, and sea urchin all popping balloons are wonderful, as are their short apologetic commentaries ("oopsie," "sorry," "my bad"). Along with the rules and the humorous exceptions, the story has a pervading sweetness, reminding grown-ups to cherish the days of birthday wishes and to celebrate the optimism and hopefulness of young children.
VERDICT This celebratory book will appeal to children and parents alike—a wonderful read-aloud for any time of year.

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