Bottom-Up Birthday: The Backwards Birthday Party by Tom Chapln and John Forster
ON MY BIRTHDAY MORNING
THE SUN WAS SINKING LOW.
I PUT MY CLOTHES ON INSIDE OUT
AND DOWN THE STAIRS DID GO.
We've all heard of retro parties, but this is ridiculous!
This go-with-the-flow birthday boy takes it all in stride, though. The banner suspended across the living room reads "!SNOITALUTARGNOC" The guests say goodbye and wave as they walk out the door.
But not to worry. The party's not over. It's just taking place in reverse. They guests appear with a magical page turn, where the good-natured host re-wraps his opened gifts and presents them to his guests as they enter. Then, in a crowd-pleasing choice, they eat the cake first.
THE ICE CREAM WAS HOT.
THE CANDLES WERE NOT!
The blindfolded donkey pins the tails on the kids, with the usual hilarious results. And the longer the kids party, the earlier the day becomes, with the hands on the clock going counter-clockwise until it is the wee hours of the morning, and the party turns into a de facto sleepover. It's actually the perfect birthday, and there's a bonus when at dawn the still sleepy host finally pushes the party goers out the door...
I WAS ONE YEAR YOUNGER
THAN I WAS THE DAY BEFORE.
Recycling their 1994 children's song, Tom Chapin and Chuck Groenink's brand-new collaboration, The Backwards Birthday Party (Atheneum Books, 2015) uses clever page design strategy to highlight the premise, with letters turned around and one page actually reading bottom to top. Refrains recur frequently to give listening kids a vocal role in the fun. Illustrator Chuck Groenink plants humorous sight gags aplenty on the pages, and the authors even append the words and music as endpapers. It's all there except a warning that the unimaginative reader might turn the book upside down and read the story back to front! Otherwise, as the creators put it, this one is "the partyday birthwards back!" !!YADHTRIB YPPAH