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Happy Birth Day! Paperback – May 1, 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Paperback, May 1, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-A warm, tender picture book in which a mother tells her daughter about her first 24 hours of life outside of the womb. The opening picture shows a bewildered, wrinkled, life-sized baby, still with her umbilical cord, supported by the doctor's hands. The cord is snipped, a nurse slips a hat on baby's head, and mother and father envelop her with love. Mother breastfeeds her, and relatives gather to admire, take photos, and welcome the new arrival. The description of the infant's first sounds and actions is gentle and poetic. Emberley's illustrations in pencil and pastels fill the oversized pages with soft-focused, cozy colors and true-to-life detail. For the special moment when parents want to answer a child's questions about birth, this book offers both facts and reassurance. The arrival of Happy Birth Day! is an occasion worth celebrating.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 3^-7. Young children love to look at photographs of babies, especially pictures of themselves when they were little. They marvel at their tiny toes and fingers, squinty red faces, wrinkly feet, and dainty pink nails. In a seamless blending of text and artwork, this picture book goes a session with a photo album one better, catching close up the miracle of a newborn baby and the sweet joy and physicality of its first day in the world. Harris' affectionate first-person text, focusing on one young couple welcoming a newborn, is very personal: "I'll never forget the moment you were born. . . . You let out a loud cry--about as loud as a coyote howling at the moon." Yet it is full of the universal wonder of new life and the quiet drama of family bonding. Emberley's paintings are spectacular. Large, realistic, and softly colored, they literally glow as they catch the tender moments: the baby girl naked, eyes barely open, umbilical cord still attached; squalling, fingers clutching; at mother's breast; in father's arms; peacefully asleep encircled by Mom and Dad. The book will be a hugely appealing library item, with potential for small-group use as well as lap sharing. An interview with Harris, on page 1495, lends further insight into the making of this touching book, which speaks with joy and wonder to young children and their parents. Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763609749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763609740
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.2 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,282,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to stumble upon this book when I was about 7 months pregnant with our second child. Our oldest was then almost 2 1/2. Harris's wonderful book was instrumental in preparing our daughter for the impending arrival of her baby brother. The illustrations are beautiful and life-like; excellent pastel artwork. The text did a fantastic job conveying the wonder of birth and the first day of life for a newborn. We renewed it twice, keeping it a total of 9 weeks and my daughter had it memorized by the 2nd renewal. She loved the "howling at the moon" part along with the "sneezing, hiccuping, peeing and pooping." The pictures of the naked newborn complete with umbilical cord and the baby nursing at her mother's breast were wonderful in preparing my daughter. She was totally at ease with her brother's newborn "looks" at the hospital and was not at all shocked by the sight of him nursing. I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone wanting to prepare their older child/children for a new arrival. It would also be great for any child just for learning more about their own arrival in the world.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a Reading Specialist and have taught Special Education students for 14 years. I found this book wonderfully stimulating and the language easy to read and follow. I recently had my 2nd baby and my husband and I have enjoyed reading this to my 2 1/2 year old daughter. I especially like that there is a realistic picture of a mother nursing her baby. Pictures like that are very hard to find. It is wonderful to see realistic pictures depicting a nursing mother and child. It is hard to find children's books that DO NOT show a baby is bottle fed only! Wish I had found this book before I had my baby so I could show my daughter what was about to happen!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchase this book for everyone close to me who has a baby. It is a wonderful rendition of childbirth and the first day of a baby's life. The book is written from a parent's perspective to the child. The text is written with easy-to-understand language and has beautiful illustrations. A special note: This book would not be good for parents who experienced a particularly troubling delivery because the book describes the perfect situation.
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By A Customer on February 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I love this book. My baby is still a bit too young to understand books so this one is for me. It reminds me of all the joy of her first day here, when they put her into my arms and I never knew something could feel that good. This book captures that day's experiences and feelings perfectly and serves to remind me, when I am tired and grumpy, the magic and joy that should be the overwhelming experience of having a child.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a charming, tender and very true-to-life book about what the first few minutes after giving birth are like -- really lovely. I would caution conservative families, though -- the illustrations are very realistic, this is not a "prettied-up" view of newborn babies. So if you'd rather that your children imagine newborns as looking like the Gerber baby, this may not be the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not at all what we were looking for. Wanted a book to explain having a new sibling to our daughter, this book doesn't do that. The whole thing goes through a hypothetical first day for a baby using language that sounds like it happened to your child. None of the things described on the first day happened to our daughter and it confused her reading about how it did. Plus our entire family lives across the country from us so having the room full of visitors is also not realistic. Found another book that works much better for us ('I'm a big sister' by Joanna Cole), all we wanted was a book to introduce the ideas of how to interact and play with a new sibling safely while explaining that we love them both equally.
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By A Customer on October 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I liked the book,but it was very nurse oriented,some areas were to specific, for example, the aunt who came with a red tricycle, and cousin visiting. This is not typical of all families and this I feel took away from a specific person giving the book. I bought it for a grandchild and there aren't any cousins or aunts. The pictures were great, and for the most part content was good. It was a great gift giving book for the newborn.
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the graphics of this book, and the text was charming and sweet. This would be a super book for anyone expecting again (even the first time!). It shows the cord being clamped, breastfeeding, and realistic newborns.

The only drawbacks were that is was hospital based (not for everyone) and used doctor and nurse a lot, which isn't inclusive of all care providers.
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