Best Friends Know Best: A Birthday for Cow by Jan Thomas
October 17 is circled on the calendar. It's Cow's birthday, and Duck, Pig, and Mouse are set to celebrate. Pig and Mouse obviously know the drill, and set to work right way preparing a lavish birthday cake for the occasion.
Duck seems surprised. "CAKE?"
Wielding their implements of mixing, Pig and Mouse get ready to whip sugar and eggs to a frenzy in a big bowl. In goes the two cups of flour and then Duck proposes his own special ingredient.
Pig and Mouse nix the turnip.
Next they're read to mix it all together. Duck has just a unique suggestion for a mixing tool.
You guessed it!
Pig says nope, and Mouse suggests a spoon might serve them better than a root vegetable.
At every step in the mixing, Duck tries to include his turnip, green tops and all, but the two chefs persist in sticking to their recipe. When it's time to decorate the cake, Duck suggests a turnip for the top. Mouse and Pig proffer six striped candles.
At last they see Cow coming and Mouse proudly holds up his cake, candles aglow. Duck still has his turnip in hand. They all sport big grins at the chance to surprise their friend Cow.
Cow IS surprised.
"IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS?
It seems Mouse and Pig have a whole birthday cake, guttering candles and all, on their hands--which isn't all that bad, really!
Meanwhile Cow chomps down the birthday turnip with gusto. Yummm!
As Pig and Mouse, almost foundered on birthday cake, lie around digesting, Duck and Cow walk away, sharing another tidbit about their mutual affection for turnips. Says Duck...
"SOMETIMES I BRUSH MY TEETH USING A TURNIP."
"REALLY? ME, TOO!"
Jan Thomas' A Birthday for Cow! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,) is not what you expect in a birthday party book among friends. Festively unwrapped in its fresh board book edition, her critter characters are funny but friendly, with a lot of giggle bait in the horrified looks on Pig's and Mouse's faces as Duck tries to introduce a freshly pulled turnip into every step of the cake baking. And Jan Thomas' story and illustrations keep the fun coming to the very last page in a birthday story that surprises but doesn't disappoint.