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My Lucky Birthday Hardcover – May 2, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-The cunning pig from My Lucky Day (Putnam, 2003) is back, and the hapless victim of his tricks this time is Alligator Al. It's Al's birthday, and he considers himself quite lucky when a little porker knocks on his door looking for his friend, Freddy. It's Piglet's birthday, and there's going to be a party. Strange, thinks Al. "Who's Freddy? And who has the same birthday as me?" That should have been his first clue. However, Al only sees "the [birthday] dinner of his dreams" standing at his front door. In a flash, he has Piglet bagged up and ready to be cooked. Piglet convinces Al that he deserves a big birthday cake. Al takes the bait, and bakes a nice cake for himself. But what's a party without awesome decorations, asks Piglet. So, Al decorates with balloons and ribbons and a banner. Furthermore, Al shouldn't celebrate alone, says Piglet. "Shall I invite my friends?" A houseful of tasty piglets would just about be the "luckiest birthday ever" for Al, so he concedes. Piglet's friends aren't tasty pork chops, however. Rhino, Hippo, Wild Boar, and Gorilla are so big and scary that Al runs off, leaving Piglet to celebrate his luckiest birthday ever. The final page connects this story to Piglet's earlier lucky day, leaving readers to wonder who will become Piglet's next victim. The illustrations are done in gouache, and although they are typical of Kasza's style, they lack the visual charm of the art in A Mother for Choco (Putnam, 1992), for example. Nevertheless, this trickster/comeuppance story is a fine addition to picture-book collections.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Alligator Al believes he’s received the best birthday gift ever when he opens his door to find a piglet caller, who would make a tasty meal. But the piglet, who shares Al’s birth date, proves to be a smart little guy. First, he postpones his demise by making various suggestions to Al about other party essentials, including a cake, decorations, and, of course, invitations to more guests. Greedy Al assumes those guests will be more piglets and is stunned to find that a rhino, a hippo, a boar, and a gorilla show up. Instead of Al getting to pig out, the piglet gets to celebrate his own birthday, courtesy of the cake, decorations, and his friends. Kasza (My Lucky Day, 2003; Silly Goose’s Big Story, 2012) illustrates her delightful plot with colorful cartoons that feature a vibrant watercolor palette and expressive, anthropomorphic characters. Piglet models clever self-preservation techniques, but he also leads the cleanup after the party and names the toy gator he receives as his gift after his disappointed host. Preschool-Grade 1. --Francisca Goldsmith

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (May 2, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399257632
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399257636
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 - 5 years
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.38 x 0.3 x 10.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

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Keiko Kasza was born on a small Japanese island in the Inland Sea of Japan. She grew up in a typical Japanese extended family with her parents, two brothers, and grandparents. Uncles, aunts, and cousins also lived nearby. "All the steps I took growing up were very normal," Ms. Kasza says. "The only unusual thing I did was go to college in the United States." She graduated with a degree in graphic design from California State University at Northridge. Ms. Kasza married an American, and the United States has been her home ever since.After publishing five children's books in Japan and working as a graphic designer for fourteen years, Ms. Kasza decided in 1988 to devote her time to picture books. She says, "Having two small boys and two professions was too much to handle."Ms. Kasza admires many great picture-book creators, such as Leo Lionni and Maurice Sendak, but says that the work of Arnold Lobel has influenced her the most. The subtle humor and warmth he created in his books continues to inspire me," she says. "I often go back to his work when I get discouraged or lose confidence."Ms. Kasza compares the process of making a book to acting on stage under the lights:"I become the character that I'm working on at that moment. I pretend that I'm a bird looking for a mother, or a pig trying to impress his girlfriend. When I'm acting, I'm a child myself."Ms. Kasza's ambition is not to create a hundred books, but to "create one really good book that will be kept on the family bookshelves for generations, although a hundred really good books would be even better, of course!"Keiko Kasza lives in Indiana with her husband and two sons.

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