Monday, November 6, 2017

Paul's Christmas Birthday

Paul's Christmas Birthday. Carol Carrick. Illustrated by Donald Carrick. 1978. 32 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: It was the middle of December. All the children in Paul's class were talking about Christmas.

Premise/plot: Paul was born on December 24. He doesn't like having his birthday so close to Christmas. He doesn't feel like his birthday is special--all the focus is on Christmas instead. So his mom decides to have a birthday party and invite all the kids in Paul's class. The invitation promises a visit by a MAN FROM OUTER SPACE. Maybe the kids come because they really like Paul; maybe the kids come because their parents see it as free babysitting so they can go shopping; maybe the kids come because they're curious about how Paul knows an alien. Regardless of why--they come.

My thoughts: Paul's Christmas Birthday is a sad, pitiful, strange book. Imagine a book about birthdays, or a book about Christmas illustrated in these colors: orange, yellow-brown, brown-brown, light and dark gray, and peach. Nothing merry or bright. Paul is--temporarily at least--depressed and out of sorts. The whole man-from-outer-space thing is just weird--beyond weird really. The visitor is none other than Santa. This confuses the children greatly. As it did me.

 I will say this. I do like the illustrations, just not the colors. If the mom had gone with "special guest" or "special visitor" instead of MAN FROM OUTER SPACE, the text might have worked for me better.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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