A young couple, along with their little daughter and their dog, celebrate their baby son's six month birthday with a picnic in a city park.
This story brought a long, slow, quiet smile to my face. Memories of my own days as a young parent came flooding back. This is a very simple story about family love and a sense of community. The patient, indulgent parents obviously enjoy their two little children, which makes reading the text and looking at the pictures a joy. The illustrations are lovely and uncluttered, I like that both the beauty and the gritty reality of the city are shown. (My only change would be to show more diversity among the people in the park - I was disappointed that everyone was white. City populations are generally much more colorful!)
Many picture books are full of weird creatures, slam-bang action, and excitement. But to a 3 year old child, the world is still so new and big that everyday life is already exciting - watching traffic, seeing planes in the sky, a leaf falling, taking a walk over a bridge and under the train tracks - these are wondrous things for a very little person. "Oscar's Half Birthday" captures this enchantment perfectly. This would make fine bedtime reading for small children, and big people too!