Feb 17, 2012

Birthday Suit

Birthday Suit (CAN, JP, US, INT)

Written by: Olive Senior

Paintings by: Eugenie Fernandes

Published by: Annick Press

Published on: January 19, 2012

Ages: 3+

Provided by the publisher for review through NetGalley

I have a nudist toddler. I am sure you know a nudist toddler. They seem to be everywhere. Their numbers explode in Japan's hot summer, and they can be seen in almost any weather in parks around the country with water installations.

Who can blame them?

Johnny is happier in his birthday suit splashing through Caribbean waves than anything else.  His mother, however, has a goal to get him in clothes, and his father helps guide him in that direction. He shows him the fun of clothes, even when they are on the wrong parts.

Senior is a renowned poet and her skills have been put to excellent use creating pages of text that is just plain fun to read aloud.

Johnny's jellyfish squirming/ slippery worming/jump-about jostling/ writhing and tossing/ find him free, with a POP!

Fernandes' illustrations carry an amazing sense of movement, from the waves of the ocean and the life with which it teems to the laundry swaying in the wind.Her intricate backgrounds take this from a beach story that could take place anywhere in the world to something specific to the Caribbean. It is especially amazing that she could illustrate a book about nudity without either showing off the front bits of the little boy or delving into the slapstick comedy used by Austin Powers.

I especially like the sun looking down from the top of each page- it makes me feel that this friendly sun is the narrator for the book.

This book should make it onto the bookshelves of all homes with a kindred nudist spirit.

This is the first book I read for the Reading the World Challenge, and it is set in the Caribbean.

This is the 25th book I read for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge.

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