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A Nice Party

Overview


This is a witty, charmingly illustrated story about a friendship between two bears and a birthday party they'd rather avoid. Gus and Boris are best friends. One day Gus confides that he feels gloomy because his birthday is coming and he's not looking forward to the party his family is planning for him. "My family always throws the worst parties," Gus explains. Boris suggests that they skip the party and go fishing instead, and that is what they do. Surprisingly, everyone is happy: the family celebrates Gus's ...
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Overview


This is a witty, charmingly illustrated story about a friendship between two bears and a birthday party they'd rather avoid. Gus and Boris are best friends. One day Gus confides that he feels gloomy because his birthday is coming and he's not looking forward to the party his family is planning for him. "My family always throws the worst parties," Gus explains. Boris suggests that they skip the party and go fishing instead, and that is what they do. Surprisingly, everyone is happy: the family celebrates Gus's birthday, barely noticing his absence, and Gus and Boris have a lovely day fishing on the river.

When Gus the bear dreads the usual birthday party his family gives him, his friend Boris thinks of a different way for them to celebrate.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Anyone who has experienced a not-so-happy birthday party will understand why Gus bear is glum. Gus has a problem. As he explains to his best friend Boris, "My family always throws the worst parties." Luckily for Gus, Boris is a truly good friend. The two bears slip away and celebrate a quiet birthday together, away from a hugging grandmother, a paw shaking uncle and two very greedy cousins. The relatives also have a good time even though the guest of honor is absent. With soft, earthy illustrations and minimal prose, this is a perfect book for story time on a warm lap. 2002, Front Street,
— Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Gus is not looking forward to his birthday. The childlike bear complains that his grandmother treats him like a baby, his uncle shakes his paw a bit too vigorously, and his cousins eat the cake before he has even made a wish. Gus's friend Boris proposes that the two of them go fishing instead, so the cubs leave a note for the family and ask that they "please leave presents by the tree." No one notices that the guest of honor is missing and they party away without him. At day's end, an aunt stomps away grumbling about the birthday bear's absence (even though readers were just told that nobody noticed). Although the little bear's family is far from perfect, his behavior could be considered rude, and the story seems to suggest that his actions are acceptable. The softly textured illustrations done mostly in earth tones are visually appealing, but the spare text jumps around without providing much detail. Despite these qualms, the story has a certain liberating appeal that may help it acquire an audience.-Melinda Piehler, North Tonawanda Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A friend offers a perfect gift in this brief import. When Gus confesses that he's not looking forward to his upcoming birthday party, since he'll have to endure the attentions of a gaggle of loud, overbearing relatives, his friend Boris suggests a quick fishing trip instead. While the aforementioned relatives gather to make merry, and barely notice that the guest of honor isn't present, Gus and Boris sit peacefully at a stream's edge, chowing down on a luscious-looking cake. Gerritsen casts big, rumpled-looking bears for all the parts here, and gives the tale a homey woodland setting decorated with balloons, banners, and party detritus. Young readers with a yen for peace and quiet will identify with gloomy Gus, wish for a friend like Boris, and be charmed by the goofy protagonists. Now, on to Frog and Toad. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781886910898
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 4/5/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.65 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author


Husband-and-wife team Elle van Lieshout and Erik van Os write books, songs, and poetry for young children and beginning readers.

Elle grew up with seven older siblings on a farm in a small village. Her first book, Mama komt toch altijd terug (Mommy Always Comes Back) published in 1993, was was about the death of her mother when Elle was six years old. Erik also grew up in a small village. His parents ran a pet shop and a nursery in which he and his three siblings were expected to help out. He always preferred to play soccer. Now Elle and Erik live with their daughter, son, and pets in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

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