Monday, November 24, 2014

Birthday Rules - a book review

Quote of the day:

I've got a lot of presents

that I'd like to give to you.

I'll give you all my Brussels sprouts

and all my liver too.

I'll give you all my gym socks

when they really start to stink.

I'll give you all my pens when

they are running out of ink.

I'll give you all my broken toys
and empty jars of paste.
I'll give you all my bubble gum
that's chewed and lost its taste.

I'll give you all the dust balls that
I found beneath my bed.
I'll give you all my batteries
as soon as they are dead.

So have a happy birthday,
you're a special friend indeed,
and please accept this trashcan
full of stuff that I don't need.

--Kenn Nesbitt

Today's featured book:

Title:  Birthday Rules
Author:  Laurie Friedman
Illustrator:  Teresa Murfin

Let's pull back the curtain and see inside shall we?

About the book:

Who doesn't love their birthday?  Who doesn't want the best birthday party on the planet?  Well, Percy Isaac Gifford is here to help you out because he is a party planner extraordinaire.  He will gladly share his ideas with you as to how you can celebrate your special day and get the job done in excellence.  

Written in rhyme, this fun book is a guidebook to the ultimate in birthday party execution.  It encourages you to enjoy every single moment of the day because after all this day is all about you.  You must scrub up to perfection, dance and shimmy and shake, play games like there's no tomorrow and be sure to be thankful for every single gift that you get.  And the icing on the cake?...yes there is icing and candles too...indulge, be a cake piggy and eat every crumb and lick the plate too if you so desire, after all it's your day isn't it? Oh yes, you are allowed to lick your fingers too because...  yep... it's YOUR birthday so there!  

The grand finale of your day, after much thoughtful reflection,  is to know deep in your heart that everyone grows up and grows older.  It truly is a wondrous thing and fills you with a sense of awe and wonder as you contemplate the possibilities of growing up and remaining cool while doing it.  Yes, you can!

The illustrations are whimsical, full of action and emotions which I feel added so much warmth and fun to the text.

About the author:

Laurie Friedman is an author of many award-winning picture books, chapter book, and novels for children and Tweens. Laurie writes the popular Mallory McDonaldchapter book series for 7-10 year olds. Published by Lerner Publishing Group, the series currently includes 20 titles. Laurie has a new journal format series for older readers entitled, The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair. The first book in the series, Can You Say Catastrophe? will be released Fall 2013. Laurie has also written many rhyming picture books.
Early Life
Laurie Friedman was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas on January 28, 1964. She grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and was the oldest of three girls. As a young girl, Laurie spent many hours under the magnolia tree in her back yard writing stories. She attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana where she studied literature and the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Laurie was a free-lance writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She also spent many years working in the advertising industry. She lives in Miami, Florida, has two children, ages 17 and 20, and is a frequent speaker at schools across the country. 
Laurie Friedman says that growing up she always liked reading realistic fiction and still does. “It makes me feel better when I read about a character going through something similar to what I’m going through, and seeing how that character handles the situation.” As an author, nothing makes her happier than when she receives letters from fans telling her that they can really identify with her characters. Growing up, she always kept a journal and often writes about the things that happened to her when she was younger. She also likes to write about things that happened to her own children when they were the ages of her characters. 
In addition to writing books, Laurie Friedman loves to read, dance, hike, bake, watch movies, go to the beach and spend time with her family.

About the illustrator:

Teresa Murfin graduated from Falmouth College of Art in 2001 and she now lives and works in Wales
She likes to work with a variety of mediums, using acrylic paint on board and she also sources patterns and textures to integrate into her digital artwork style. Her inspiration comes from European children's books, vintage papers and fabrics, Scandinavian design and folk art.
She has worked for a variety of clients including BT, Weight Watchers, and a range of publishers. Projects include the beautifully painted Animal Soup by Ian Whybrow (Scholastic) and the recently published picture book Thanksgiving Rules, for Carolrhoda. Her next picture book project, Naughty Toes(OUP), tells the story of a little girl who would love to be a ballerina but has been blessed with two left feet instead!

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always. Have a great day everyone.

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