Monday, September 26, 2011

The Best Birthday Party Ever

The Best Birthday Party Ever. Jennifer LaRue Huget. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. 2011. Random House. 40 pages.

My birthday is 5 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, and 8 hours away. Today I started to plan my party. It is going to be the best birthday party ever. I will make the invitations myself. They will have a picture of me dressed like a princess on the front. My mother will help me color them in. We will put gold glitter in the envelopes so when people open them they'll get showered with fairy dust. I am inviting all my friends--57 of them, counting some kids I just met at the grocery story. Plus my grandmas. And the mailman. And the lady at the bank who gives me lollipops.

So begins this charming picture book by Jennifer LaRue Huget. The heroine of this one is super-super excited about turning seven. As the months, weeks, days, and hours go by, readers get to learn all about her plans for celebrating the big day. The heroine is very exuberant, very passionate; she is very easy to love! And the thing is she can "plan" all of this party without being a big brat, without whining or crying. Does she get her elephants? Does she get her two magicians? Does she get a birthday card from the President or the Queen? No, no, no. Her real birthday party is great enough, simple enough, to treasure. It's the little things that matter--like how her mom makes extra frosting just for her so she can eat it out of the bowl--that make this party a big success.

I loved this one. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this one. It was funny and sweet and just about perfect. I just loved the illustrations. LeUyen Pham is without a doubt my favorite, favorite, favorite illustrator. I just LOVE and ADORE her work. I do. I can't help myself. I am just a big, big fan of her work. And the illustrations make this one extra special.

It really makes me happy to see a book with a great story AND great illustrations. That isn't always the case.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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