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LULA’S BIRTHDAY by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard


by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard & illustrated by Pat Cummings

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-688-15944-3
Publisher: Greenwillow

Howard’s great-aunt, Lulu, is the inspiration for this sweet book about a woman who is admired and loved by many. After being an elementary school teacher for 50 years and an exemplary citizen, the real Lulu became everybody’s “grandma,” just like in the book. In return for her kindness, Lulu’s family and friends want to do something nice for her birthday. Lulu suggests to the two youngsters in her care, Laurie and J. Matthew, that they celebrate her special occasion by repeating one of their favorite activities from their summer together. The trio recalls their trips to the zoo, beach, ballet, movies, and baseball game, while readers are treated to candy-colored illustrations of their happy days. Meanwhile we know the children have a secret for which we are offered hints, as bits of birthday presents, balloons, and whispering people appear in the window behind Lulu. Happily, Laurie and J. Matthew tell Lulu they are taking her somewhere for a change instead of her always being the giver. They lead her, closed-eyed and spinning, around the house, telling her not to peek until they have the delighted birthday guest-of-honor settled in her familiar comfy chair. “Surprise!” Everyone yells and Lulu opens her eyes to see a gathering of her many loved ones and a beautiful cake created by the children. This delicious story ends with the author’s family recipe for One-Two-Three-Four Cake, leaving readers with a good taste in their mouths as well as in their minds. (Picture book. 4-7)