cover image Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Lee Bennett Hopkins. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $11.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70973-0

Unlike these collaborators' recent Side by Side, this small picture book is really two volumes in one: an extended collection of verse, accompanied by a wordless depiction of a boy's activities on his birthday. Knight cleverly interweaves the disparate poems with the day-long festivities: the gift of a mouse from the boy's brother, a party where his friends play pin the tail on the donkey. Although the illustrations are full of humor and characteristic elan, these lackluster, greeting card-like verses offer little charm or wordplay. Nevertheless, the book may satisfy those looking for an unusual birthday greeting. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)