Back in March, I was lucky enough to win one of agent Steven Malk’s trivia contests on Twitter, and he sent me a huge pile of amazing, amazing books. My favorite from this pile changes daily, but Ramona immediately glued herself to Happy Birthday Bunny! by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin.
This book is so lovely and sweet, and I am desperately in love with the illustrations, but Ramona — well, she saw it as a user’s manual for how to have a third birthday. Because the bunny in the book is turning three, and Ramona was soon to turn three when we got the book.
And so when, about a month before her birthday, we asked what she wanted, she said, “A rocking zebra!” There was an implied “of course” at the end of her sentence. Because, in Happy Birthday, Bunny!: “What’s this box and what’s inside? A rocking zebra — take a ride!”
In her mind, when you turn three, you get a rocking zebra. It says so right there, in the book. Good thing we got that book. Otherwise how could she have known what she was supposed to get for her birthday?
Well, that’s all well and good until you’re the parents of an almost-three-year-old and have been informed that the birthday essentially won’t exist without a rocking zebra. And you realize that there are fancypants rocking zebras that cost $150. And that you don’t have time to get Stephanie Graegin to make a super cool one for you.
Well, we did find one, you’ll be glad to know, and so Ramona was able to celebrate properly. (I guess I’m glad, in retrospect, that she asked for this and didn’t expect there to be an owl, a fox, and a badger at her birthday party.) (Maybe because children see anthropomorphic animals in picture books as cuddly cute humans? Discuss.)
So this week I review Happy Birthday, Bunny! on Brain Burps About Books. You need to go to the show notes to see how Katie adorably drew a big heart around my head and announced my book sale.
You can listen to this podcast episode (an interview with Bruce Hale) directly in iTunes, here.