Happy Birthday, Mrs. Millie!

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Millie! illus. by Joe Mathieu. 32p. CIP. Marshall Cavendish. May 2012. RTE $16.99 ISBN 978-0-7614-6126-5; ebook $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7614-6127-2. LC 2011016397.
PreS-Gr 2—It's Mrs. Millie's birthday, and her students want to surprise her with a party. They imagine all the things she will exclaim over, including their baboon decorations (really, they're balloons) and the adorable cubcakes (cupcakes). But when Mrs. Millie arrives, she turns the tables with a few surprises of her own. Like the previous "Mrs. Millie" titles (Marshall Cavendish), this picture book has whimsical wordplay. Cox has a good formula for keeping it fresh—sometimes the children initiate the funny phrases, and sometimes it's the teacher: "Are all these pheasants for me?" The text is exuberant and energetic, and readers will be swept up in the merriment. Mathieu's illustrations interpret the phrases literally; pheasants pour out of a gift box, with one peering into Mrs. Millie's face. The "apple moose" is priceless, with a bewildered look on the animal's face as children fill their glasses from its barrel stomach. Mrs. Millie would pair well with absentminded Amelia Bedelia for successful word lessons or storytimes.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ
Beloved kindergarten teacher Mrs. Millie has a thing for malapropisms, so her students decide to throw a birthday party for her in this vein (they blow up "baboons," not "balloons," etc.). With a nod--a bow, really--to the Amelia Bedelia books, this latest offering about Mrs. Millie isn't all that funny.

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