Happy Birthday!

Gail Gibbons, Author Holiday House $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-0614-2
Two top picture-book collaborators team up in another irresistible entry. Al the janitor and his talking dog Eddie seem to live quiet lives of desperation. ""They ate together. They worked together. What could be bad? Plenty.'' Then their lives are changed by the appearance of a giant bird who carries them away to an island in the skya tropical paradise. ``They never had it so good,'' but ``ripe fruit soon spoils.'' They begin to turn into birds! They try to fly back to Manhattan: Al barely makes it, but Eddie falls into the river. ``Fortunately, Eddie was a talented swimmer, and in no time he found his way back to the West Side.'' They are jubilant and have learned a lesson: ``Paradise lost is sometimes heaven found.'' Egielski's watercolors are humorous, marvelously detailed and a perfect foil for Yorinks's wit. Views of the apartment are done in dingy tones, while their lost paradise is lush and colorful. Like Louis the Fish, Hey, Al is sure to please both parents and kids with its wry humor. (4-up)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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