The Birthday Queen

The Birthday Queen

by Audrey Wood, Don Wood
     
 


Bestselling award-winners Don and Audrey Wood celebrate your birthday with the best party in the world!

Happy Birthday to you! Today is the most exciting day of the year, and the Birthday Queen knows exactly how to fill it with fun surprises! From decorating your home to baking your favorite cake, the Birthday Queen doesn't forget a thing as she creates a party

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Overview


Bestselling award-winners Don and Audrey Wood celebrate your birthday with the best party in the world!

Happy Birthday to you! Today is the most exciting day of the year, and the Birthday Queen knows exactly how to fill it with fun surprises! From decorating your home to baking your favorite cake, the Birthday Queen doesn't forget a thing as she creates a party beyond your wildest dreams!

Children will crow with delight as she tests a wild assortment of games and clowns, wraps your gifts, and splashes the kitchen with huge bowls of colorful frosting. Here come your guests! Now it's time to celebrate!

Known for their warmth and imagination, Audrey and Don Wood create a story that crackles with the excitement of the best homemade birthday parties. Their simple narrative speaks directly to the child: You! And who is the Birthday Queen? In a sweet, satisfying ending, the amazing woman who made your special birthday party is revealed to be the person who loves you most--your mother!

Children will be begging to read this all year round!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
If Christmas has Santa Claus and teeth have the Tooth Fairy, why not a Birthday Queen for birthdays? The Woods (It’s Duffy Time!) imagine a magical, multitasking regent who’s an indefatigable combination of party planner, Under­writers Laboratory (“When her clowns are invited to parties, the Birthday Queen must make sure they are funny”), fixer (if the bakery screws up a cake order, she whips up a substitute), and hostess with the mostess. Any resemblance between the Birthday Queen and a young celebrant’s mother, is, of course, coincidental. Audrey Wood’s short, breezy prose and Don Wood’s candy-colored spreads, which mingle slapstick with surrealism, hold sentimentality at bay; a gift-wrapping scene is a riot of wrapping paper, tape, and birthday magic, which comes courtesy of the queen’s three wands. But let’s face it: this is a tribute intended to spark at least the flickers of gratitude in the hearts of birthday boys and girls. As such, it’s more likely to be appreciated by Birthday Queens themselves (or anyone else who’s helmed a children’s party) than by those whose birthdays are being celebrated. Ages 4�8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Audrey and Don Wood

IT'S DUFFY TIME!
A 2012 Parents' Choice FunStuff Award Winner
"The Woods have a sure-handed knack for showing the daily life of a dog in a way that is not only funny but will connect with kids establishing their own routines. The watercolors mark time as well, moving from the golden warmth of the day to the cooler shadings of dusk, and finally into the soft gold of a home's interior at night. Endearing and comforting."--BOOKLIST

BLUE SKY
* "A high-voltage stimulus package that encourages close observation of and imaginative thinking about nature, not to mention playing with print to express ideas."--KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

ALPHABET ADVENTURE
"This unusual alphabet book boasts not only a clever, original, and engaging story but also lavish, computer-generated pictures by the author's son."--BOOKLIST

TEN LITTLE FISH
"The circular story and the bouncing rhymes, which create just the right suspense with each page turn, will encourage preschoolers to gleefully chant along."--BOOKLIST
"The holistic story bubbles with life's endless cycle."--KIRKUS REVIEWS

THE DEEP BLUE SEA: A BOOK OF COLORS
"Uncluttered spreads, brilliant colors, and tropical setting, populated with a few winsome creatures, will draw toddlers who are beginning to tackle the basics."--BOOKLIST

KING BIDGOOD'S IN THE BATHTUB
A Caldecott Honor Book
An ALA Notable Book

THE NAPPING HOUSE
A NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Book of the Year
Winner of the Golden Kite Award

"The Birthday Queen does everything possible to make sure birthday celebrations are perfect.

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Invitations need to be written and sent. Clowns must be carefully screened. And of course, every single birthday game must be tried and approved. But when it comes to readers’ birthdays? The Birthday Queen steps it up a notch. She whips up a celebration at a moment’s notice, complete with cake to exact specifications, beautifully wrapped presents and balloons that fly into place as soon as the guests arrive. Just who is the Birthday Queen? If "you" look closely—the narration is in the second person—beneath the jeweled crown and past the bright rainbow dress, readers just may recognize someone special in their own family (so long as their mothers are white and present). In a wild frenzy reminiscent of a Candy Land board explosion, colors burst forth from every page. The Birthday Queen herself is not pretty in pink; she is a brightly rouged, belly-laughing, apple-cheeked blonde. Kids will get swept up in the birthday excitement, while adult readers will recognize the small moments of manic preparation—which always "magically" turn out in the end. It’s just too bad, given the seemingly inclusive direct address, that this queen-cum-mom is ethnically specific, leaving kids whose moms are not white out in the cold.

A sly, though problematic, nod of appreciation to mothers, hidden behind streamers, confetti and a mouthful of cake." - Kirkus Reviews

"If Christmas has Santa Claus and teeth have the Tooth Fairy, why not a Birthday Queen for birthdays? The Woods (It’s Duffy Time!) imagine a magical, multitasking regent who’s an indefatigable combination of party planner, Underwriters Laboratory (?When her clowns are invited to parties, the Birthday Queen must make sure they are funny?), fixer (if the bakery screws up a cake order, she whips up a substitute), and hostess with the mostess. Any resemblance between the Birthday Queen and a young celebrant’s mother, is, of course, coincidental. Audrey Wood’s short, breezy prose and Don Wood’s candy-colored spreads, which mingle slapstick with surrealism, hold sentimentality at bay; a gift-wrapping scene is a riot of wrapping paper, tape, and birthday magic, which comes courtesy of the queen’s three wands. But let’s face it: this is a tribute intended to spark at least the flickers of gratitude in the hearts of birthday boys and girls. As such, it’s more likely to be appreciated by Birthday Queens themselves (or anyone else who’s helmed a children’s party) than by those whose birthdays are being celebrated." - Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Maria Lamattina
For almost two decades, Audrey and Don Wood have been enchanting young children with their beautifully illustrated stories. A visual delight, The Birthday Queen informs children of all the planning and preparation that goes into holding a birthday party. Rather than the recipient of the party, the Birthday Queen is the person who does the work—from writing and delivering invitations, to leading guests in the birthday song. Audrey Wood writes in the second person, placing the reader (or listener) at the heart of the action, especially at the end—the candles are blown out, the guests go wild, and the birthday boy (or girl) opens his eyes to see that the Birthday Queen looks just like his mother! On a personal level, the book may serve to raise young children's awareness of what a labor of love giving them a party is. For classroom reading, how ellipses are used, and how sentences are broken off on one page and completed on another, could serve as a discussion topic in writing workshop. (Why does the author break off where she does? What do the three dots mean?). Audrey and Don Wood's work is extensive, and The Birthday Queen is a lively, colorful addition. Reviewer: Maria Lamattina
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Somewhere, in a colorful palace crowned with a star and ringed with candles, the Birthday Queen is busy preparing a party. She tastes cakes, practices games, and auditions clowns. She decorates with three snaps of her fingers. Unfortunately, what could have been a celebration of the magic of birthdays is flawed by a second-person narration that might be confusing to young listeners and an ending that does not jibe with the fantastical beginning. Readers are given no hints in either text or illustrations to indicate that the Birthday Queen is anything but a manic monarch, though at the end it is revealed that she is actually the birthday child's mother. Only the final page hints that the magic was only in the child's head, or perhaps the mother's. The bright oil paintings, while lively and colorful, border on garish with grinning characters who have green and purple shadows around their eyes. This brightly illustrated, slight salute to party planning ends up missing the mark.—Martha Link Yesowitch, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC
Kirkus Reviews
The Birthday Queen does everything possible to make sure birthday celebrations are perfect. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Invitations need to be written and sent. Clowns must be carefully screened. And of course, every single birthday game must be tried and approved. But when it comes to readers' birthdays? The Birthday Queen steps it up a notch. She whips up a celebration at a moment's notice, complete with cake to exact specifications, beautifully wrapped presents and balloons that fly into place as soon as the guests arrive. Just who is the Birthday Queen? If "you" look closely--the narration is in the second person--beneath the jeweled crown and past the bright rainbow dress, readers just may recognize someone special in their own family (so long as their mothers are white and present). In a wild frenzy reminiscent of a Candy Land board explosion, colors burst forth from every page. The Birthday Queen herself is not pretty in pink; she is a brightly rouged, belly-laughing, apple-cheeked blonde. Kids will get swept up in the birthday excitement, while adult readers will recognize the small moments of manic preparation--which always "magically" turn out in the end. It's just too bad, given the seemingly inclusive direct address, that this queen-cum-mom is ethnically specific, leaving kids whose moms are not white out in the cold. A sly, though problematic, nod of appreciation to mothers, hidden behind streamers, confetti and a mouthful of cake. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545414746
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
658,899
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


Audrey Wood has been writing award-winning children's books for more than 30 years. She often collaborates with her husband, Don Wood (IT'S DUFFY TIME; THE NAPPING HOUSE; KING BIDGOOD'S IN THE BATHTUB; MERRY CHRISTMAS, BIG HUNGRY BEAR), and she has created many bestsellers with their son, Bruce (ALPHABET MYSTERY; TEN LITTLE FISH). Audrey also illustrates books herself, including BLUE SKY (2012); SILLY SALLY; and A DOG NEEDS A BONE.

Don Wood is the Caldecott Honor illustrator of numerous international bestselling collaborations with his wife, Audrey Wood, and he also recently wrote and illustrated his brilliant graphic novel, INTO THE VOLCANO (now in paperback, 2012), which received outstanding reviews. He and Audrey live in an off-the-grid, untamed area of Hawaii with their three dogs, two goats, and a flock of chickens. Visit their website at www.audreywood.com.

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