Review Blog

Nov 08 2019

My parents cancelled my birthday by Jo Simmons

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Illus. by Nathan Reed. Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781526606587.
(Age: 9 - 12) Recommended.  Themes: Birthdays; Family; Humorous stories. Tom is looking forward to his birthday but several dilemmas, including the pet pig falling off the roof and squashing his Grandmother's chihuahua, leads to the decision to cancel his 'special' birthday acknowledgement. Tom's father is unsuccessfully attempting to finish his book, his mother is stressed and working too hard, his Grandmother decides to hold a seance to 'speak' to the now dead pet and his sister's missing tooth and the curse of the tooth fairy all work against Tom and his attempts to restore the birthday celebration. Fortunately, he finds that friends can help him, and even chickens listen to him to enable him to plan his own festivity to acknowledge his birthday.
Jo Simmons has written a silly litany of disasters that young readers will find amusing. At every turn everything goes wrong, and there are some impossible moments that are extremely eccentric. Young readers will be entertained, and the suspension of disbelief required to accept some of the quirks in the plot will not cause them distress.
Carolyn Hull

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