Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly"May you have a day that's twirly-swirly," begins the string of well-wishing in Starr's upbeat narrative. Readers soon discover (via a message in skywriting) that it's Alicia's birthday, and as she strolls through the barrio with her mother, everyone and everything is in tune with her happiness. "May you hear salsa and start to dance" accompanies husband-and-wife team Hu and Van Wright's (Mei-Mei Loves the Morning) watercolor spread of Alicia coquettishly striking a pose to the music pouring out of a storefront. The energy of the painting conveys an urban hum and a welcoming neighborhood, peopled with smiling passersby. Even the taxicab drivers wave hello, and the traffic signal switches to "Walk" just when Alicia wants to cross. Hugs from the family and a fluffy pink cake await her at the bakery: "All of us, we're all for you-that's why we sing happy birthday to you!" The barrio will be an exotic destination for many readers (one of Alicia's fans, a street vendor who sells oranges, gives the delighted girl "a ribbon of peel"), and Hu and Van Wright make the journey inviting by combining a fluid realism with a festive, pastel palette. Alicia herself makes a winning tour guide-her wavy, waist-length hair gives her the aura of a fairy tale princess, and her bright eyes and warm smile should make an instant connection with readers of all backgrounds. Ages 3-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's LiteratureCatch the party mood as the entire neighborhood collaborates for an impromptu fiesta on young Alicia's birthday. From the salsa beat pouring out of the local grocery to the rainbow of Hispanic flags decorating the vegetable stands, folks are drawn to the joyful child, wanting to share in this happy celebration. Confetti colors swirl around the story, capturing the essence of a close-knit community and reflecting the special glow of a birthday child. Brief text on each page, large and appealing to new readers, presents all the best wishes for a perfect birthday�blues skies and ice cream, a picture perfect cake and all the hugs and love a little girl could cherish. 2002, Star Bright Books,
Deborah Zink Roffino
School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-Gr 1-An urban setting forms the backdrop for a little girl who is celebrating her birthday. Alicia's mother guides her through streets where she is greeted by neighbors, shopkeepers, street vendors, and even taxi drivers. Expanding on the fantasy quality of the day, airplanes write a salutation in the sky and pigeons bow to the birthday girl. Finally, this perfect interlude is rounded out by a huge ice-cream cone from the Icey man and a party with her loving extended family. Watercolor illustrations paint a cheerful portrait of this largely Latino neighborhood. While this title doesn't break any new ground, it is an upbeat tale.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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