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HAPPY TO YOU! by Caron Lee Cohen


by Caron Lee Cohen & illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-04229-6
Publisher: Clarion

A birthday party sparks a day of joyfulness for a young boy. Amidst the jollity, Daniel spies balloons, a snoozy cat, and a candle-bedecked cake, and hears the cacophony of fun that is synonymous with children’s parties. His favorite part of the festivities is the “Happy Birthday” song. This pleasant feeling of merriment and well-wishing extends itself beyond the party as Daniel spreads good cheer throughout the day. “Happy to you!” becomes his benediction as he bids good day to everyone (and thing) he meets. Nothing is excluded from his salutations: from the stuffed animals lying around his house to the wide world outside, Daniel hails the world with hearty joviality. When at last Daniel drifts off to sleep after his exciting afternoon, it’s with a sigh of pure contentment, secure in the knowledge of a day well and lovingly spent. Cohen (Digger Pig and the Turnip, not reviewed, etc.) adroitly conveys Daniel’s exuberance—a pinch of silliness and a dash of nonsense words add to toddler appeal. “Wind wiggled the trees, wiggledy, wiggledy, flippity leaves. And Mommy said, ‘Happy to you, flippity leaves.’ ‘Happy to you lippity leaves,’ Daniel said.” Litzinger’s bright pastel illustrations echo the liveliness of the tale. Cheerful domestic scenes comically depict Daniel and his mom capering about with abandoned bliss. The full-bleed paintings, laden with color, are warmly inviting. Like an unexpected gift, Cohen’s bubbly tale will brighten reader’s days. (Picture book. 2-4)