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Seven happy birthdays in the life of one small girl, from the real first one--the day she was born--to the times during her sixth year When she gives presents in return. Presented as a family album with reminiscences addressed by the parents to the child, each year's mood is a loving celebration of the nuclear family of three, with parents baking a succession of fanciful cakes (star, clown, train, robot) and smiling through the inevitable mishaps--at one, ""you spit up""; at two, ""you were crabby. . .because you needed a nap""; at four, the new toy telephone had to be hidden because all the guests wanted it at once. And every year ""We told you we loved you."" Then, ""Before you turned six, you gave. . .us for our birthdays flowers. . .You helped bake our birthday cakes. . .You told us you loved us""--thus the loving, giving family produces a loving, giving child. (True, but not always so simple.) Stevenson's ebullient pictures are as full of smiles, flowers, and hugs as the text, a bit sketchy and diffuse, but lively and appropriate. A book both parents and children will enjoy--and profit from--this would be fine for a picture-book hour or to share near a birthday. A good companion to Flack's Ask Mr. Bear, or to ""The End"" in Milne's Now We Are Six.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard/Watts