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Oscar's Half Birthday [Hardcover]

Bob Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 May 2005
An ode to babies and the joy of real family life. The day Oscar turns six months old, Mum, Dad and Millie decide to celebrate. They take coat-hanger fairy wings, three tuna sandwiches and a chocolate cake with half a candle, and set off across the city for a picnic on Bellevue Hill. Once there, all the other people in the park join in for a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" in this warm, gentle story of a family celebration on an urban, autumn day. The new picture book from the Kate Greenaway Medal Winner 2003. This tale was inspired by an event witnessed by the author on Hampstead Heath, where a crowd of people spontaneously began to sing "Happy Birthday" to a baby!

Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (2 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844280292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844280292
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 23.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,725,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

An enchanting early picture book from the creator of Max, 2000 Smarties Gold Prize Winner and CBC Early Childhood Book of the Year Honour Book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bob Graham is Australia's leading picture-book-maker. He has written and illustrated several children's picture books for Walker, including "Queenie the Bantam" (Highly Commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal), "Buffy" (Smarties Book Prize Silver Award Winner) and his most recent title, "Jethro Byrde, Fairy Child" (Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting story that make you think differently 23 May 2009
Enchanting story that make you think differently of life in high rise flats!
Wonderful illustrations and so refreshing to know that happy ever after ending don't always mean that
you must live in the leafy suburbs with a detached house and a large garden. My 2 year old son was
transfixed with this every bedtime. I'm off to track down more of his books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands out from the book-crowd 8 Feb 2011
This is a gorgeous story and just that bit different - the setting, the characters, the story that unfolds, all are lovely. I find this book draws me in each time I read it and my son loves it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quiet enchantment 11 Jan 2006
By Brenda G. Mcdonald - Published on Amazon.com
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice change of pace... 16 Oct 2006
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on Amazon.com
It's nice to see a picturebook set in an dingy, urban environment for once, rather than the endless procession of books set in idyllic, pastoral New England farmhouses with smiling, priveleged, upper-middle class nuclear families. Nice, too, that this hip, young "nontraditional" family is completely loving and sweet, and that the urban setting isn't used as a backdrop to hash out some social issues or whatever. City folks can have joyful lives, too.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in the Making 1 Aug 2007
By S. Rimkunas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book captures the young child's imagination as the extraordinariness of the ordinary day plays out. There are a very few books that touch both children and parents in such a way so as to stand the test of time. Oscar's Half Birthday deserves a special place beside Good Night Moon on every young child's bookshelf.

My daughter adores the illustrations, the story and the beautiful language. It has become our favorite gift to give friends with small children. I even read this story to a group of adults I was teaching....they were totally entranced.

Kudos to Bob Graham.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle and warm. 27 Jun 2014
By Bonnie Ferrante - Published on Amazon.com
This is a gentle, warm book about a family of four celebrating a little boy’s sixth month birthday. We are never told why this is so important, why the family can’t wait until he is one year old. That, in itself, could generate some interesting discussion.

The mother, father, sister Millie, and baby Oscar go on a picnic. When the parents light a candle on Oscar’s cake, all the people in the park who have been admiring the baby, join in singing “happy birthday.” Millie wears fairy wings throughout the journey as the family enjoys such simple gifts as the wind in the trees, the roar of the train, and the sunshine in the park. The writing is, at times, pure poetry. “Oscar frowns in the dim light – six different expressions on his face in the time it takes a leaf to fall.” and “The wind carries their song up over the hill, out across the traffic, higher than churches and factories and apartment buildings. It’s sound falls gently over the city – so faint that, only dogs can hear it. And somewhere down there, the one who started all of this… the half-birthday boy, Oscar, sits tilted at an angle, his fingers curled into Millie’s tuna sandwich. His shoulders are hunched, his head nods, and the light shines through his ears, illuminating them like little lanterns.”

This is a story infused with gentle love. It would be a wonderful book to share with a child who has a tiny baby sister or brother.

The illustrations are soft watercolors, often two-page spreads. They are simple but engaging. The mother is of African descent and the father is of European descent. At the end, each parent is carrying a well-loved, sleepy child.

Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very cute! 24 Mar 2013
By Shirley S - Published on Amazon.com
My small daughter and I very much enjoyed this very sweet book about a little boy and his family's way of celebrating his 6 month birthday. I loved the portrayal of a bi-racial couple and the simple joy of their celebration of their child. The love was apparent, and the celebration of their lifestyle was refreshing. They embrace their city life, gather in the park with their fellow city-goers and enjoy the brightness of the day. It's a nice story about enjoying the small pleasures of life.
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