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THE BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER by Jennifer LaRue Huget

THE BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER

by Jennifer LaRue Huget, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-84763-9
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

A little girl is planning her birthday party, which is only five months, three weeks, two days and eight hours away. She wants to make all the invitations and invite all her friends, “Plus my grandmas. And the mailman. And the lady at the bank who gives me lollipops.” As the day looms closer, she thinks about thousands of balloons—all pink—and 17 (different!) layers of cake. There will be real tiaras for the girls and clown hats with bells, all made by her mother. Her dad will build the castle with the moat (Pham adds a grandma snorkeling in that moat to the little girl’s mental image). Finally, the day comes, and even though there are no magicians or Ferris wheel and only two layers of cake, it is a perfectly splendid party. Pham’s appropriately rosy watercolors are just the right pairing for the ebullient text, which tumbles about the pages. The girl’s room—very pink, initially rather neat, with her dog and her hamster and her favorite toy elephant, Ferris wheel, and castle and books like Cakes Made Simple!—turns into an utterly messy amalgam of all of her ideas just before the actual party. Her parents keep smiling through it all, her bearded dad and her mom with an adult version of her haircut. There are smiles, actually, all around for everyone. (Picture book. 5-8)