HOORAY, I'M FIVE TODAY!
Release date: 09/01/2004
Tyler plans a surprise for Dinah's fifth birthday in Freeman's (Roar! ) gentle tale. The full-bleed spreads fill up as, one by one, animal friends join the party. Brown Rabbit "burst[s] into the room, playing a brass horn" to the tune of "Happy Birthday to You," Lemur bears flowers, Croccy takes everyone on her "famous crocodile rides," and the partygoers jump rope and dance "rock'n'roll." All the guests run offstage (scaly and furry tails are visible at the borders) in preparation for Dinah's biggest surprise of all. On the next spread, the same tails peek out from behind an enormous, leaning tower of cake—which is made even better when all the friends leap out from behind it to wish Dinah a happy birthday. Freeman's cheerful pencil and gouache illustrations in pastel shades convey all the excitement of suspense and wish fulfillment on a five-year-old scale. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)