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Some Birthday! Paperback – September 1, 1993


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Some Birthday! + My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother (Aladdin Picture Books) + The Keeping Quilt
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671871706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671871703
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The entire family has forgotten Patricia's birthday. And to make matters worse, Dad has proposed an evening trip to the Clay Pit at the edge of town--"one of the scariest places on earth." Armed with campfire provisions and outfitted in rain gear and galoshes, Dad, Patricia, her brother Rich and cousin Billy embark on the eerie adventure. But when Dad walks off to investigate a mysterious rustling, the children are certain they've spotted the notorious Clay Pit Monster and run screaming all the way home. Belly laughs abound as Dad reveals the monster's true identity, and then the real fun begins--a party for the birthday girl complete with cake and presents. Polacco's ( Rechenka's Eggs ; The Keeping Quilt ) warm illustrations are bursting with homey details, from sweaters frayed at the elbows and worn armchairs to miniature framed snapshots and overloaded electrical outlets. Her particularly emotive faces come alive with fear and anticipation, and a skillful blend of bold, moonlit night scenes and the ample white space of day provides an exciting sense of motion. Polacco has served up a delicious slice of family life. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- Polacco recalls a memorable birthday celebration from her young life--a summer nighttime cookout with her father, brother, and cousin Billy at the spooky Clay Pit Bottoms, rumored home of a monster. The scary creature sighted turns out to be her dripping Dad, who has fallen into the water. Patricia's birthday is celebrated properly, at last, with cake and a present, but it's the memory of the Clay Pit adventure that lingers. Polacco's inimitable illustrations perfectly accompany this playful tale. From the surprised faces of the quartet on the cover to her father's gleeful glance over the rubber-monster-topped, whipped-cream cake, she has deftly evoked both story and personality in her familiar pencil, colored marker, and acrylic paintings. A tender look at a loving extended family and a great read-aloud as well.
- Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
This yarn is about a young girl's presumably forgotten birthday, mixed in with a pseudo-scary hunt for the dreaded "Clay Pit Bottoms Monster." The girl, Patricia, and her brother visit their divorced dad, an interesting figure who suggests after work that they look for the monster and take the first ever picture of it. Patricia is disappointed that her birthday was apparently forgotten, but she, her dad, brother, and cousin experience fun, excitement, and the unmistakable strength of her father's love as they try to lure the creature out of the lake. There's a surprise birthday cake (decorated with a rubber monster on top!) waiting for Patricia after they run home thinking they've met the "monster." Polacco ends with a nice touch: Her protagonist reports "Then everyone sang `Happy Birthday' to me. My dad sang the loudest-and off-key, of course. That's my dad."
There's a bit too much narration in Polacco's story, and her inimitable illustrative style is not as fully realized as in "The Bee Tree " (1998), Casey at the Bat (1997), or some of her other best work. Still, this late 1950's period piece has all the elements that make this author/illustrator one of my favorites: Warmth, the building of memories, and a uniquely enjoyable illustrative style.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen Vavrick on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some Birthday!, by Patricia Polacco is another shining example of her incredible ability to write amazing children's literature. This book is full of imaginative events that all children dream about. Patricia Polacco creates beautiful illustrations that catch the eyes of children ages 4 - 104! This is definitely a "must have" not only for Patricia Polacco fans, but for all fans of wonderful children's literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ardnam VINE VOICE on March 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
Polacco writes from her own past. While the trials and tribulations of growing up with divorced parents are presented realistically in Polacco's books, she is able to keep an upbeat perspective. Her relationship with her father shines through in this story. This book definitely tells the story of a very differnet birthday. Simple times can still have exciting experiences. This is a good way for children to be immersed in childhood from years past. Check out My Ol' Man for another wonderful, touching book by this author.
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By DBL on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anything by Polacco is highly rated in my book. I have been acquiring her books for several years. Her stories touch your heart.
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