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BIRTHDAY SUIT by Olive Senior Kirkus Star


by Olive Senior & illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55451-368-0
Publisher: Annick Press


Who needs swimming trunks?

Johnny likes to run around naked, and so would you if you lived on a tropical island surrounded by the beautiful blue sea. But now that he's 4, mom insists on clothes at all times. She buys him red trunks for playing in the water. As soon as her back is turned, however, he's out of them and back to the titular birthday suit. He can "undo everything his mom uses to lock him in," from buttons to "the thingamajig that Johnny rips for that lovely tearing sound." But one awful day, mom comes home with a pair of denim overalls heavy with snaps. In a flash she fastens him in. Johnny starts squirming, letting out a wail that sends the tide out before its time and the fish all around turning somersaults. Soon mom is staring at a pair of empty overalls. It takes a man-to-man talk with dad for Johnny to realize that he really does want to be a big boy. He puts on his overalls and everybody claps. Now he has fun with clothes, zipping and tying and snapping (as well as unzipping, untying and unsnapping). Still, whenever he gets under the sea...  Fernandes' bright, busy paintings are a good match for the buoyant and ample text, which is full of phonic riffs that make the tale a terrific read-aloud. 

So happy, it'll give readers and listeners the urge to visit (with or without their clothes). (Picture book. 3-5)