August 7 – Celebrating Summer Birthdays

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About the Holiday

Summer birthdays hold a special place in my heart because my son was born in July. If you have a birthday in June, July, or August, you know how much fun it can be. The warm weather makes it a perfect time for beach or pool parties, camp out parties, or special trips with family and friends to the zoo, a park, or an amusement park to celebrate. Of course, all birthdays are terrific and have a few things in common – one of which is the inspiration for today’s book!

By Jakki Licare

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish

By Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld

 

When it comes to the most important wish-making holiday, the narrator of this celebration guide reveals that “there are , there most definitely are, 10 very specific, tried and true, and absolutely essential Rules For The Making of a Birthday Wish.” The first rule to making a birthday wish is that the wish must be close to your birthday. The only exception to this rule is if you’re an insect who has a small life cycle. If that is you then you must start celebrating at once! “Flutter, flap, fly right on over to Rule #2.”

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Image copyright Tom Lichtenheld, 2019, text copyright Beth Ferry, 2019. Courtesy of G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

The second rule is to celebrate with a party. There are lots of ways to have fun, but hats are a necessity, and decorations will make everything feel more festive. Of course, if you are a rhinoceros (or other other creature with pointy features), please stay away from balloons! Rules three and four are crucial to the success of your wish and involve…dessert! The kind of dessert is up to you, and the narrator takes you on a scrumptious tour of the bakery and in Rule #4 lets you choose your own kind of light. If you’re lucky enough to be a frog, you might “consider using fireflies as your candles AND your dessert.”

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Image copyright Tom Lichtenheld, 2019, text copyright Beth Ferry, 2019. Courtesy of G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Rules #5 and #6 are all about creating just the right atmosphere and enjoying all the accolades coming your way. Rule #7 gets you prepared for the very thing that will make your wish come true – so don’t skip it! When do you actually make your wish? That comes in Rule #8! But you only get one, so “it should definitely be a ‘can’t think of anything greater’ wish.” Then comes Rule #9 (which is when Rule #7 finally makes perfect sense) and you get to blow out your candles.**

**If you happen to be a camel, it’s best to have your friends help you. Why? Well, “No one wants to eat cake spritzed with camel spit.” 

Which finally brings us to Rule #10! “Don’t forget that ‘wish’ ends in ‘shhhhhh’ so keep your wish quiet, silent, hush-hush.” And then, after your friends have all gone home and you’re gazing at the moon, it’s time to “dream…of your wish coming true.”

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Image copyright Tom Lichtenheld, 2019, text copyright Beth Ferry, 2019. Courtesy of G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Children will love counting along with Beth Ferry and her humorous rules on how to make a birthday wish. The narrator’s whimsical wording, such as: “If you’re lucky enough to have friends who can warble, croon, and carry a tune, sit back and enjoy the show,” makes the story a delicious read aloud.  Readers will giggle as the narrator points out hilarious exceptions to every rule. All children look forward to that magical moment when they lean toward the lighted candles on their birthday treat, close their eyes, make a wish, and…blow! Ferry captures all the fun, dreams, and possibility in her story that’s sure to become a birthday reading tradition.

Tom Lichtenheld’s sweet and vibrant characters sure do know how to party! Each character is colorfully rendered and bursts with personality. The King Lion’s careless posture embodies his power as he easily blows out all the candles; the endearing smile on the one-year-old turtle’s face melts your heart as he celebrates his birthday with his grandfather turtle, who has too many candles to count; and the Baker bear smiles over the counter with a dripping mixing spoon as his young customers choose their birthday treat. Lichtenheld also creates several unique moments in his drawings: a chorus of bird sing so beautifully that their musical notes levitate their friend Squirrel’s birthday cake right off the tree branch, and on a child’s closed eyes, the lash line is transformed into the stem of a flower, illustrating the magic of a birthday wish.

If you are wishing for a great book with beautiful wording and fun illustrations to add to your home, school, or public libraries to help celebrate a child’s special day, then Ten Rules of The Birthday Wish is just the book for you.

Ages 4-8

 G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2019| ISBN 978-1524741549

Discover more about Beth Ferry and her books on her website.

Discover more about Tom Lichtenheld, his art  and his books on his website.

Celebrating Summer Birthdays Activity

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Birthday Candle Craft

With this fun craft, you can practice blowing out your candle for the big day!

Supplies

  • Printable Birthday Candle Template
  • Crayons/colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Toilet Paper Tube
  • Toothpick
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue
  • 1/2” x 1” rectangular piece of a Cereal box

Directions

  1. Print out Template

  2. Color and cut out template

  3. Poke toothpick through the top of the toilet paper tube

  4. From your chipboard/cereal box, cut out a .5”x 1” rectangle

  5. Glue flames to the top of the chip board (this will give the flame some stability)

  6. Hot glue the bottom of the flame to the toothpick

  7. Glue colored template around toilet paper tube

  8. Hold the cardboard candle, close your eyes, and make a wish!

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You can find Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

To support your local independent bookstore, order from

Bookshop | IndieBound

Picture Book Review