The Birthday Queen

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

Blue Sky Press (AZ)
Publish Date
10.8 X 0.4 X 12.1 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

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 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.


"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

Praise for Audrey and Don Wood

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

* "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

"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

"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

"Uncluttered spreads, brilliant colors, and tropical setting, populated with a few winsome creatures, will draw toddlers who are beginning to tackle the basics."--BOOKLIST

A Caldecott Honor Book
An ALA Notable Book

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