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Monday, September 1, 2014

I Feel Five, written and illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2014. $17.00 ages 4 and up

"On his fourth birthday,
Fritz Newton ate
birthday pancakes, got
his very own cape, and
picked apples for birthday

Being four was fun,
but tomorrow...
Fritz will be five!"

Do you remember being 5? It's hard for me to remember 60! Having taught kindergarten for most of my 32 years in education, I remember a great deal about five year olds. So, I know how they feel about birthdays, and especially about being FIVE!

Fritz is definitely thinking that his birthday is about to make a big difference in his life. He leaps from his bed, cape in hand and ready for anything. In truth, being 5 is no big deal. He feels a lot like he did yesterday! His parents help him celebrate with  5 pan'cakes', candles and balloons. It doesn't change much. Perhaps his birthday sneakers will be just what is needed.

Still, he can't do any of the things that he couldn't do yesterday. His teeth are still intact. The school birthday crown doesn't even work. When a new friend shows up in the park, in need of some help, it causes careful thought on Fritz's part. After helping, he thinks he might feel a shift. What a great story for kindergartners, or anyone looking for a change!

Every turn of the page invites familiar feelings for young readers. He is so happy when the calendar turns to his birthday. His smiling face, his hero cape, his leap to wakefulness. The spreads focus on Fritz as he navigates the ups and downs of his special day. Add it to your birthday book box, and celebrate along with Fritz the slow changes that affect each one of us.

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