A festive romp of good wishes.
Although not explicitly a birthday book nor one that depicts a graduation, this title would be a suitable gift for either sort of occasion and for recipients of all ages. Its rhyming text, written almost exclusively in couplets, addresses the reader with celebratory declarations that make general note of achievements made, milestones met, and wish-fulfillment on the horizon. “Choose a dream, set a path, see how far you will go. / Find out what you can do with the things that you know.” Illustrator Glatt’s accompanying art looks every bit as merry as the playful text’s tone, with stylized, cartoon pictures of people, animals, and cheery, bipedal not-quite-people cavorting about the pages. The primary palette is pink, gold, red, and light blue, giving the white-backgrounded pages the look of vanilla frosting with sprinkles strewn across it. Her loose style is reminiscent of some of Maira Kalman’s work, and the playful dynamic between art and text delivers a satisfying read even in the absence of a story. The closing spread brings a close to the text with four, not two, lines with the same end rhyme, culminating with the titular directive: “And whatever you do, eat the cake.”
A book to wish—and to inspire—many happy returns. (Picture book. 3-18)