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*Stop This Birthday!* by Rowan Cutler, illustrated by Emily McClellan

Stop This Birthday!: A Birthday Every Day of the Week
by Rowan Cutler, illustrated by Emily McClellan
ages 4-8 36 pages Chronicle Books September 2005 Hardcover    

Is anything more exciting for a child than anticipating a birthday? No! Not only will she be another year older (hooray!), but there will be presents and a birthday cake to celebrate the event.

Zephyr can't wait for the big day to arrive, unable to settle down or fall asleep the night before. Finally, it is her birthday. By the afternoon, Zephyr gleefully answers the doorbell ten times to admit her ten closest friends to her party. By the time she goes to sleep that night, Zephyr has had the best birthday ever.

Certainly she is surprised when the Birthday Fairy appears, offering to fulfill one wish. Wasting no time, Zephyr wishes to have her birthday every day. The next day, when Zephyr wakes up, it is her birthday all over again, the party dress, the friends, the present, the cake... all of it just the same.

Zephyr is thrilled with this turn of events, so when the Birthday Fairy reappears, Zephyr announces right away, "I want it to be my birthday every minute!" Another full day, of party, presents, friends and cake...over and over and over. That night the over-stimulated little girl wishes for her birthday to be every second. Oh dear, this is getting out of hand. Before she knows it, Zephyr is overwhelmed by too much, too fast, shouting, "Stop this birthday!!!"

The Birthday Fairy grants her wish. Sighing with relief, Zephyr settles back in her tree fort to contemplate the good sense of celebrating a birthday once a year, one party, one cake at a time. She understands why such celebrations are special, something to look forward to all year.

The illustrations are imaginatively done, showing a little girl caught up in the excitement of the moment, suddenly surrounded by chaos and way too much of everything. In the end, Zephyr perches in the backyard tree fort, counting stars in the night sky, happy to be exactly where she is.

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  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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