cover image Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish

Beth Ferry, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. Putnam, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4154-9

A series of animals demonstrate how to observe a birthday properly through 10 rules in this tale by the creators of Stick and Stone. Yet it immediately—and amusingly—becomes clear that every rule has exceptions. “It must be your birthday” and “your age should have increased by one,” doesn’t apply to certain creatures: “If your life cycle is a month or a week or sniff, sniff, only a single day, please celebrate immediately!” A party is necessary and balloons suggested unless “you are a rhinoceros, a swordfish, a sea urchin, or pointy in any way.” “Combining rules” is okay, too, so “If you are a frog, consider using fireflies as your candles AND your dessert.” Lichtenheld’s exuberant mixed-media illustrations offer all the fun of a birthday fete, and images of cartoon critters partying in their own way (an aloof moose blows bubbles on the back of an elephant) fortify Ferry’s droll message that there are no intractable rules for celebration. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator’s agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Feb.) [/em]