Barrett caters to a familiar post-party letdown in the story of a dog named Benjamin who has a lovely birthday party (his...

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BENJAMIN'S 365 BIRTHDAYS

Barrett caters to a familiar post-party letdown in the story of a dog named Benjamin who has a lovely birthday party (his ninth, though he looks middle-aged) and lots of ""really wonderful presents,"" but regrets when it's over that he has to wait 365 days for more. His solution is to rewrap one gift each night to open in the morning, and when he has gone through them all he begins wrapping up ordinary ""things in the house,"" concluding when his next birthday comes round ""that he would never want another present again, since everything around him was a present and always would be."" Ron Barrett's drawings on yellow paper of Benjamin unwrapping his curtains, TV, bathtub and so on reflect both the oddness of his behavior and the doting fondness of the conclusion -- although it is just that combination of sentiment and strangeness that makes the ambiguity of Benjamin's age (nine dog years, as his flabby, drooping figure and baggy suspendered trousers suggest, or nine people years as his gifts of roller skates, puzzle and model airplane indicate?) unsettling.

Pub Date: April 17, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974