cover image When’s My Birthday?

When’s My Birthday?

Julie Fogliano, illus. by Christian Robinson. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-293-4

Birthdays are hard to wait for, but now there’s a book to read while counting down the days. Fogliano (Old Dog Baby Baby) starts with a stomping beat (“When’s my birthday?/ where’s my birthday?/ how many days until my birthday?”) and understands that, for young birthday hopefuls, excitement means movement: “Will we dance around and round?/ will we jump and jump and jump?” Using simple cutout forms, Caldecott Honor artist Robinson (Last Stop on Market Street) shows children with varied hair and skin colors indulging in birthday fantasies. One skates on a gigantic cake (would that be icing skating?), another contemplates an enormous gift, still another surveys a table laden with food. Robinson’s collages play with scale, contrasting giant birthday props with a spread of insects and a snail celebrating the occasion atop a dandelion—every living thing has a birthday. As the special day approaches, one child vows to stay up all night: “In the morning it’s my birthday!/ I’m not sleeping till my birthday.” (She falls asleep, of course.) Fogliano captures with uncanny skill a child’s voice, enthusiasm, and spontaneity. Ages 3–6. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)