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Birthday Suit Paperback – February 1, 2012
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From School Library Journal
The voice of Jamaica is in poet Olive Senior's lilting prose, and the lively illustrations are painted in Fernandes's signature child-friendly style. (CM 2012-05-11)
With its charming, relatable plot and melodic rhythm, Birthday Suit is perfect for storytime. (Blake Eligh Quill and Quire)
This delightful book will elicit giggles from three-to six-year-olds and knowing smiles from parents. (Aliki Tryphonopoulos Canadian Children's Book News)
Fernandes' bright, busy paintings are a good match for the buoyant and ample text, which is full of phonic riffs that make the tale a terrific read-aloud. (Kirkus Reviews 2012-03-28)
Written by a poet and author originally from Jamaica, the story is fun and engaging, the poetic use of language rich and lyrical with a definite Caribbean lilt. (Ken Kilback Resource Links)
Comical events will appeal to young children who can identify with strong-willed, independent-thinking Johnny. (Lynn Vanca School Library Journal 2012-09-01)
This delightful book will elicit giggles from three- to six-year olds and knowing smiles from parents. (Aliki Tryphonopoulos Canadian Children's Book News 2012-09-30)
Enthusiastic junior nudists everywhere will unite behind this one. (Daniel Kraus Booklist 2012-06-15)
Olive Senior adds this exuberant, joyously-infused tale for wee clothing anti-enthusiasts to her impressive writing repertoire. (Shivanee Ramlochan Paper Based Bookshop 2013-08-10)
Top Customer Reviews
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
"Johnny's jellyfish squirming
writhing and tossing"
always will set him free. Will he ever grow up and learn that there is a time and a place for his birthday suit and a time and a place for clothing?
The lively illustrations are a perfect match for the tale that will hit home for many parents. Children too will be entertained by Little Johnny's antics.
Digital galley received free of charge courtesy of Annick Press via NetGalley.
Johnny manages to worm his way out of the bathing suit, through buttons, zippers, velcro and snaps. Even a pair of overalls guaranteed to be escape-proof prove no match for a determined Johnny. Finally dad sits Johnny down for a talk, and tells him that if he wishes to be big like his father, he must learn to act accordingly. In a real-life situation far too familiar to many moms, it is dad's words that do the trick and Johnny learns to accept his new clothes.
This is a great book for children who are in the shedding clothing phase and the naked Johnny will bring giggles to a wider audience as well. A wonderfully multicultural cast of characters is on display in the illustrations and the island feel is warm and inviting.
The book is in loose verse, which is its shortcoming. Some of the passages are terrifically onomatopoeiac, "jellyfish squirming, slippery worming, jump-about jostling, writhing and tossing," but others are stilted: there is no reason to break up the line, "Do you want to be/ big like Dad?" Despite the sometimes awkwardness of the text, this is a fun book for young children and may be particularly well-suited to reading time with dads. A fine addition to any collection, but not a must-have for us.