Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Big Birthday by Kate Hosford with illustrations by Holly Clifton-Brown

Annabelle she doesn't want to have just any birthday party. She wants to have a birthday party that's completely unique and totally fun, so she decides to have it on the moon! But throwing a party on the moon turns out to be a bit trickier than she imagined, and no one's having any fun. What is Annabelle going to do?

(Spoiler alert! Spoilers below)

I was surprised by this story and how the plot developed. I wasn't expecting Annabelle, her family, and her friends to actually go to the moon for her party; I was thinking that the party would be on Earth (in her yard, maybe) but have a moon theme. But no, they totally went to the moon! Once they were there, logic started creeping back in: it's a long way to travel, if you're wearing a helmet you can't eat cake, there's moon dirt everywhere, you can't light the birthday candles. There was something a little sad about this story. Birthdays are such rare occasions that I hate to see one ruined (even if it is ruined by a trip to the moon). This reaction, I think, is also in part because I've read the first Annabelle book, Big Bouffant. In contrast to Big Bouffant, where creativity was celebrated, I almost felt like there was a message of 'don't try to be too original.' But I freely admit that I might be reading too much into that, because after all everyone seems to be happy on the way back from the moon (they're stargazing and looking at planets) and Annabelle is eagerly planning a super-special birthday for next year. Regardless, this is a lovely book. The rhyming text is effortless and unforced; it hums along with a fun voice. The illustrations are truly great at capturing the spirit of the story. I hope there's another book about Annabelle coming soon!

Check out Kate Hosford's website and Holly Clifton-Brown's blog and website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Carolrhoda Books (Lerner Publishing).

Find it at Amazon.

Read it with:
Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford
Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza by Holly Clifton-Brown
Moonshot by Brian Floca

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