Written by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Like it!

This adorable book goes through 10 things that are fun to include in birthdays. After each “rule”, we see how that rule would play out with a specific type of animal doing it. Those events are usually silly and fun, paired with colorful illustrations and lots of opportunities for you to use fun voices and bond with your child as you read. The concept is fun and exciting, and there are so many potential conversations it could spark to help you and your child understand each other on an even deeper level and feel more connected!

The reason I rate it as “like it” isn’t so much for the developmentally beneficial content, but for the way that it helps the parent and child to have a really enjoyable reading time, which is so helpful in getting kids to love reading; and the way it helps the parent and child develop their relationship, which helps kids to do well in all aspects of their lives. 

During the reading: 

  • Have your child put their hands on the page where they can spread out their fingers to count the ten rules. You can keep counting with their fingers as you go through the book for some fun, positive physical contact. 
  • As you read about the different elements of birthdays, you can ask your child if they like the various aspects, like hats, games, laughter, balloons, streamers, etc. Talk about what they’ve done at the birthday parties they’ve had before and what they enjoyed about them. Share what you like as well!
  • You can ask your child to point to the animals, desserts, or other things on the page as you read about them.
  • There are some higher level vocabulary words in the book you may need to explain to make your child’s experience more enjoyable, such as warble, croon, cannoli, hoopla, spritzed, etc. These explanations can be quick and simple, though! Don’t stress about them too much.
  • Don’t forget to react positively along with your child! You can giggle with the things that are silly, make eye contact as you go along and smile with them, etc. to make it a connecting experience. 

Themes: Animals, birthdays, friendship, imagination, silly

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Have you tried any of these ideas? Comment below to share how they worked for your family!