Earth Day, Birthday!

Earth Day, Birthday!

by Maureen Wright
It’s Earth Day—but silly Monkey wants to celebrate his birthday instead


It’s Earth Day—but silly Monkey wants to celebrate his birthday instead

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It’s Earth Day, but while a giraffe and cheetah sort recyclables and a lion, tiger, and snake create a compost bin, a small monkey insists that it’s his birthday. Green tips are peppered throughout Kim’s endearing cartoons: a toucan points to a sign that says “Use Cloth Bags Instead of Plastic” and the compost bin reads “Compost Helps A Garden Grow.” Though the Earth Day/birthday wordplay at the heart of the joke may wear thin, the animals’ enthusiasm is motivating. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
All the jungle animals are ready to celebrate Earth Day, on April 22, by doing things good stewards of the earth do: planting seeds, cleaning up litter, recycling, using cloth bags, and composting. All the while, the silliest little monkey ever seen keeps protesting, "It's not Earth Day! It's my birthday." Although he helps everyone with their projects, he's more than ready for his own celebration—and finally gets it when his mother shows up with a birthday cake for all ecologically savvy critters to enjoy. The story is told in rhyming couplets; Kim's bright and spritely illustrations match the tone. Young children are likely to thoroughly enjoy the way this book makes the point without preaching—they certainly will appreciate that while we should be responsible for the earth, our very own birthday is definitely an important day! Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Kirkus Reviews
Can "the silliest monkey ever seen" share a birthday...with Earth Day? It's April 22, and everyone in the jungle--the big lion, elephant, crocodile and even the pith-helmeted snake--is celebrating Earth Day with a day full of planned ecological events. Who should swing into view but Monkey, declaring, "It's not Earth Day! It's my birthday!" Viewing him mostly as a nuisance, the others offer to include him in their projects. The flamingo is planting a row of tiny trees, the zebra is picking up litter, the hippo shops with cloth bags, the tiger is composting and the giraffe sorts bottles, cans, paper and glass for recycling. But the heedless Monkey, while lending a hand, keeps repeating his mantra: "It's not Earth Day! It's my birthday!" Even the lion's roar--"Give me a break!"--doesn't put a dent in Monkey's certainty. And he just may have a point. When he shows all the other animals the yummy birthday cake his mom made for him, everyone is immediately converted. Monkey blows out the candles, and all the animals yell, "Hooray! It's Monkey's birthday AND it's Earth Day!" Wright keeps the verse crisp and bouncy while including an impressive number of ecological activities and a nice variety of animals. Kim's bright pictures combine paper, photographs, and colored pencils. Breezy, with a valuable message tucked inside. (Picture book. 3-5)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Every animal in the jungle is set on celebrating Earth Day except Monkey, who insists: "It's not Earth Day! It's my birthday!" The creatures all make suggestions for helping the environment. Though there is no explanation as to how these actions better the world, the animals' willingness to help the planet remains commendable. Snake declares, "Let's go start a compost bin…/toss our rotten garbage in!" Finally, as an exasperated lion roars, "'Give me a break!'" Monkey's mom arrives with a birthday cake, causing all the animals to declare that one day can hold multiple significances. Kim's bright, mixed-media spreads include a sign on the lush, green grass that says, "Earth Day is April 22!" and another that reminds readers to "Reuse and Recycle." With outstretched ears, rosy cheeks, and a banana design on his T-shirt, the "silliest monkey ever seen" is a willing participant; he picks up trash and carries a cloth bag for groceries. His behavior merges animal and human qualities; he dangles from the tree by his tail and blows out his candles with gusto. Short rhymes move the story along, but the ending is somewhat abrupt.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.40(d)
AD660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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