BIRTHDAYS AROUND THE WORLD by Mary D. Lankford

BIRTHDAYS AROUND THE WORLD

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Lankford and Dugan (Dominoes Around the World, 1998, etc.) continue their partnership as they present birthday customs, foods, and games from seven different countries. After an introduction that briefly covers the subject from ancient Rome, when Caesar Augustus was honored each month, to today’s national holidays, celebrated on the birthdays of famous people, double-paged spreads with text on one side and warm, realistic paintings of festive families and friends describe birthday happenings in Finland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Sweden. There is no indication why Lankford chose these countries and no country from Africa or the Middle East. Dugan numbers these random countries on a simple map and keyed to their names. Although the map lacks the names of continents, each country’s description begins with a boxed paragraph stating the location of each and some assorted facts. She mentions the Nobel Prize on the Swedish page and cites the rubber plants of Malaysia as the source of pencil erasers. The descriptions of the birthday celebrations are informative and usually include the directions for games, a Lankford specialty. “Drop the Handkerchief” from the Netherlands, “Pass the Parcel” from New Zealand, and “Coyote and Sheep” from Mexico are three that can easily be played at any birthday party. She includes party foods such as pansit, a noodle dish representing the wishes for a long life in the Philippines, and tidbits of information about gift customs and birthday songs. A general summary of birthday superstitions and a listing of birthday gems, flowers, and character traits for each month is a practical touch, as is a complete plan for an around-the-world birthday party with an ocean theme (chosen because an ocean touches each country). A description of a birthday book club, a boon to school libraries, rounds out this useful, if limited, compendium of birthday traditions. (bibliography, index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-688-15431-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2002




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