A Birthday for Cow!
Birthday for Cow
Jan Thomas
ISBN 9780544174245
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: a-birthday-for birthdays friendship jan-thomas parties

A Birthday for Cow!
by Jan Thomas

Humor and exuberance ooze from the sturdy board book pages of Jan Thomas's (Is Everyone Ready for Fun?) birthday celebration filled with surprises.

Duck has patiently counted down the days--with blue X's on the calendar--to Cow's birthday (October 17), which he vigorously circles with a purple pencil. Pig and Duck are very excited: "Yippee!" says Duck's cartoon speech balloon. Donning chef's hats, Pig and Mouse wield whisk and mixing spoon as they prepare to make for Cow "the best birthday cake EVER!" But wait! Why does Duck look distraught ("Cake?!"). The text plays straight man to Duck's antics. Pig and Mouse confidently "put flour and sugar and eggs in a big bowl." Duck stares out at readers mischievously: "And a TURNIP?" he asks, dangerously dangling the root vegetable as Mouse's eggs go flying and Pig spills the milk. At each stage, Duck repeatedly tries to add a turnip to the recipe. Finally, the cooks blow their tops: "No TURNIPS, Duck! CANDLES!!!" Bright color backdrops and thick black outlines underscore the drama of the cartoon speech bubbles, and the googly-eyed animal heroes. Toddlers will love the fact that Duck knows his friend Cow best.
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