Dr. Seuss's Birthday Book:

Happy Birthday to You!

Dr. Seuss's Happy Birthday to You!

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 4-10

A birthday book only Dr. Seuss could imagine

In the epic battle of Christmas vs. Birthday, Birthday always wins. Why?

Because you don't have to share it.

Dr. Seuss takes birthdays to the next level with Happy Birthday to You. This birthday book tells of a land whose birthday celebrations put ours to shame.

You see, in Katroo, there's a Great Birthday Bird. Like a true superhero, he sports an emblem reading B.B. on his chest. And this mighty avian's only job is to give you, the birthday person, the greatest day imaginable.

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I won't bore you with the particulars of a Katroo birthday celebration, what with the Funicular Goats and the Birthday Flower Jungle. Suffice to say that from dawn to dark the birthday celebrant experiences a continuous menu of wonders and fun.

Appropriately, this may be the Seuss book that's richest in color. White doesn't often prevail on the page; clearly there was no ink shortage during the printing of Happy Birthday to You. The land of Katroo is stunning in both color and detail.

(This Seuss birthday book, by the way, was one of the top-sellers of the 20th century.)

Seuss has always known how to celebrate the child, but here he takes it to a whole new level.

If we didn't have birthdays,
you wouldn't be you.
If you'd never been born,
well then what would you do?
If you'd never been born,
well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that...Why, you might be a WASN'T!
A Wasn't has no fun at all. No, he doesn't.
A wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present.
But you...You ARE YOU! And, now isn't that pleasant!

While the book is perfect for any child with a birthday (I'm informed most children have them!), Seuss wraps up the whole celebration with a special message that - while it works for all children - will speak most strongly to kids less fortunate. And they're words any parent will enjoy saying:

So that's
What the Birthday Bird
Does in Katroo.

And I wish
I could do
All these great things for YOU.

It's the thought that counts, right? Dr. Seuss's birthday book: Happy Birthday to You! lets kids know we're doing our best, even if we can't do it like they do in Katroo.

All the other Dr. Seuss books. (You should know, Happy Birthday to You is included in a Dr. Seuss book collection. More Seuss for the money!)

Read more of Steve's reviews.

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