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by Bob Graham & illustrated by Bob Graham

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2699-6
Publisher: Candlewick

The love and excitement of a family for their youngest member just cannot be contained for an entire year, so they must celebrate Oscar’s half-birthday. The urbanites pack up and travel to the “half country”—a park in the city. Getting there is truly half the fun, as they enjoy the details along the way—the feel of the wind, the sound and vibration of the train, the falling leaves. As they light the half candle on the cake, the joy spills over to all the people in the park, and they join in, making it a celebration of community. Graham magnificently captures the essence of a six-month-old: “Oscar frowns in the dim light—six different expressions on his face in the time it takes a leaf to fall.” Millie is an adorable older sister, clearly infatuated with Oscar. For his present, she gives him a turn with the dinosaur puppet that has not left her hand all day. The detailed watercolors perfectly follow the wonderfully descriptive text, starting young listeners on the bridge from simply looking at the pictures, to imagining them in their own minds. An endearing family sure to warm hearts and possibly spark a new tradition. (Picture book. 2-7)