Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bertie!

Marcus Pfister

Bertie is having a birthday and three of his best friends are coming. Before they come though, there is so much to do. First he wants to have a bath, which reminds him of the gift he hopes his daddy is giving him, goggles, for when he goes swimming! The most important thing is baking his birthday cake and he is going to help his daddy. After the chocolate frosting, they put on candies and candles and Bertie asks if he can open daddy’s present. But daddy wants him to wait. Decorations have to go up and then the doorbell rings – Hannah, Alex, and Benny arrive for the party. With presents for Bertie! After playing and singing happy birthday to Bertie they all sit down to eat the cake. Finally it is time to open the presents. What will Bertie get?

This book is an interesting concept. Most books are focused on children with families or children with mothers, but this one is a child and his daddy. This is important because the daddy-child relationship is one that seems to be neglected. Pfister’s story shows a loving relationship with his son that is built through helping, fun, and caring. The colorful illustrations of hippos add an element of fancy that transcends race, even gender. It is a fun book to read and the age appropriateness is correct to the level suggested. Add this book to a home, public, or school library – children will not be disappointed.

BIBLIO: 2010, NorthSouth, Ages 4-8, $16.95.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2280-1

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 9-9-10

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