cover image The Golden Birthday Book Bg St

The Golden Birthday Book Bg St

Margaret Wise Brown, Golden Books. Golden Books, $2.08 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-307-12096-0

Certainly an occasion worth noting: this is a previously unpublished text by Brown (who died in 1957 after producing some 90 picture books) and illustrated by her most frequent collaborator. The text is characteristically brief, poetic and childlike: five forest creatures celebrate their first birthdays, and are given presents of food and comfort by their mothers. The repetition of sounds and patterned phrases, and the use of inventive language `` `Squish,' said the little worm. He squished his thanks.'') are Brown's hallmarks, as is the theme of a renewed mother/child bond. Weisgard's enormous double-page spreads are brimming with flowers, ferns, fruits, leafy trees, nuts, seeds, mushrooms and animals. The interplay of formalized shapes in pastels and shades of mustard, rust and green evoke a lush, idealized backdrop. Although certain transitions in the text seem abrupt, fans of earlier Brown/Weisgard volumes will not be disappointed. Ages 2-5. (July)