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The Bad Birthday Ideaby Madeline Valentine
Synopses & Reviews
Ben likes to play with robots. His little sister, Alice, would like to play with Ben. But when she and her doll try to join Ben's games, Ben says, "No dolls allowed. This is a robot game."
That's why Alice asks for a robot for her birthday. Not just any robot. The exact robot Ben has been wanting forever!
Ben is very, very jealous. He wants that robot. Now. Maybe he could sneak it out of its wrapping during Alice's birthday party and play with it for awhile. Nobody will know. Right?
But Ben's bad idea goes very wrong and he feels terrible. Now it's up to him to show Alice that a sister is more important than even the best robot toy in the world.
"'When Alice tried to play with her brother, Ben would say, Ã¢Â€Â˜No dolls allowed. This is a robot game,' ' writes Valentine (Ava and the Real Lucille). So Alice asks for the top-of-the-line Roboy 2000 for her birthday — a toy Ben covets — with the unspoken plan of making herself an irresistible playmate. Jealous, Ben opens Alice's gift before the birthday party guests arrive, accidentally breaks Roboy 2000, and tries to hide his guilt and the deed amid all the festivities. This is Valentine's first book as both author and illustrator, and the heart of her story has lots of comic potential, especially given her relatively understated drawing style: to Ben's horror, bits and pieces of Roboy keep surfacing during the party (an eyeball turns up in one guest's punch cup), taunting him like Poe's 'Tell-Tale Heart.' Readers won't have trouble mustering empathy for Ben at the awful moment when Roboy goes bust, though the sibling reconciliation that closes out the book comes across as a bit too neat. Ages 3 — 7. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
MADELINE VALENTINE grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in Queens with her husband. She graduated from Pratt Institute and is the illustrator of Albertine's Got Talent! by Shena Power and Ava and the Real Lucille by Cari Best. This is her first project as both author and illustrator.
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