#599 – NEW Boa’s Bad Birthday by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross

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Boa’s Bad Birthday

by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross, illustrator

Andersen Press USA         2/6/2014

Age 4 to 8               32 pages

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“It was Boa’s birthday. It was going to be the best one ever. Or so he hoped. He invited his friends round. They would all bring him presents. Or would they?”

Opening

“It was Boa’s birthday.”

Review

Ah, birthdays. That one day of the year, that belongs only to you. Everyone who sees you will say, “Happy Birthday!” Throw a birthday party—the best way to celebrate your day—and everyone invited will bring you a present. Since they are all your friends, each one will know exactly what you like. It will be a grand day, indeed!

Today is Boa’s birthday and his mother is throwing him a birthday party. All of Boa’s friends are invited and each brings a present. Orangutan’s present is so big he lugs it on his back. Boa hopes against odds that the gift is not what he thinks it is. It is. What was Orangutan thinking? Boa’s mother said,

“It’s the thought that counts.”

An excited Monkey told Boa, “You’ll love it!” Boa doesn’t. Mom said,

“Third time lucky.”

Friend after friend forgets to think about Boa when getting him a birthday present. Now, one friend remains and mother and son are certain Dung Beetle brought a pile of, um . . . well, dung.  Boa and his mother are right. Dung Beetle did bring a huge ball of  that stuff. Poor Boa. Boa’s Bad Birthday is nicely written and fun to read aloud birthday story and probably the most fantastic birthday story ever written for a boa, maybe any snake . Kids will love the terrific illustrations, and hoot each time Boa tries to use a gift despite its inappropriateness.

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There is only one thing I do not understand about the story. The last spread involves a child receiving a gift. When he opens it, inside is Boa. I think the point of the spread is to emphasize accepting a stinky gist with a thank you, as you may be surprised when the gift turns out to be a great gift. Boa did thanked everyone, even stating he cannot be rude to his friends.  The bigger message is to think before you buy a gift. Think of the recipient.  It is suppose to be funny to have this gift be Boa, but I found it a strange spread after a really good story.  What did Boa swallow for the cover illustration? Pre-party he could be happy and excited, but this is simply my opinion. Boa having odd things inside him will cause questions.

Parents can easily read Boa’s Bad Birthday in such a way as to make their children laugh. So many animal voices to use. A big orangutan, a funky monkey, a sleek jaguar, a happy, athletic sloth, and a, um, a . . . dirty dung beetle all offering an array of voices kids will love. Ah, but there is more.  Boa’s Bad Birthday is cute. I love the alliterated title and the story, sans the last spread.  When Boa tries to use each gift, it will bring belly laughs from young children.  Readers will understand Boa’s unhappiness and feel bad for him. Kids will also start to learn the importance of thinking before giving someone a gift.

Parents should not mind reading Boa’s Bad Birthday multiple times. The story does not waste words. The illustrations add buckets of humor and enhances the story. Willis and Ross created a birthday story young kids will love. Boa’s Bad Birthday contains an opportunity for children to empathize with Boa, laugh at his attempts to make the best out of the situation, and enjoy a terrific twist—Dung Beetle’s present. One impressive endnote, Mr. Tony Ross, considered one the world’s best illustrator, has illustrated a mind-boggling “over 800 books for young readers.”

BOA’S BAD BIRTHDAY. Text copyright © 2014 by Jeanne Willis. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Tony Ross. Reproduce by permission of the distributing publisher, Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. Minneapolis, MN.

Buy Boa’s Bad Birthday at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryLerner Publishingat your local bookstore.

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Learn more about Boa’s Bad Birthday HERE.

Meet the author, Jeanne Willis, at her website:  http://www.jeannewillis.com/

Meet the illustrator, Tony Ross, at his short Lerner bio:  https://www.lernerbooks.com/Pages/Author-Illustrator-Details.aspx?contactid=957

Find more books at the Andersen Press USA website:  http://andersenpressusa.com/

an imprint of Andersen Press, Ltd.:     http://www.andersenpress.co.uk/           

distributed by Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.:    https://www.lernerbooks.com/

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ALSO BY JEANNE WILLIS & TONY ROSS

Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog 

Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog

Fly, Chick, Fly!

Fly, Chick, Fly!

Hippospotamus

Hippospotamus

The Pet Person

The Pet Person

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CONGRATULATIONS TO

An Andersen Press Children’s author, Berlie Doherty, winner of the Carnegie Medal, is shortlist for The 2014 Stockport Children’s Book Awards, for her middle grade novel, The Company of Ghosts.  If you know Ms. Doherty, please congratulate her.

 

 

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boas bad birthday

9 thoughts on “#599 – NEW Boa’s Bad Birthday by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross

  1. Enjoy Boa’s Bad Birthday through Monday. All ERRORS have been removed. The review should now make sense. To all my readers, I apologize. Please enjoy the correct review of Boa’s Bad Birthday.

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  2. Umm, I can’t quite make out if you actually liked this one, he he. I am sure the kids would find it a hoot though, they seem to love this sort of story. Recently I unfortunately got a book out of the library, that is basically a robot burbing the entire story. Gigi LUVS it, but Danny and I shake our head, LOL, kids will like what they like I guess, tally ho.

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    • I did say I liked the story, but the review was written while sick. I have no idea why I “wrote in jest.” I apologize and now, seeing the errs of my review, I have updated the review into one that is a review and not one that attempts to show my ability at humor. Yeah, it was stupid. The –lack of–comments bears that out. Call me out anytime. Seriously. 🙂

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    • The cover: what in the world did he swallow? In the spread where the same illustration appears, he is perfectly straight, for a snake. If he swallowed gifts it could be a ball and a hairbrush. Neither of those were in the other half of the spread. I wish I had noticed this and commented. You made a great comment. The cover could be a happy Boa, as his party has not yet started. Wonderful catch. You must play a lot of fetch. 🙂

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