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Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#1 by bookowlie
» 29 Mar 2017, 13:41

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party" by Mary Elizabeth Kovar.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by bookowlie
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Peter Rabbit’s Surprise Birthday Party is an illustrated children’s book written by Mary Elizabeth Kovar. Peter is looking forward to celebrating his eighth birthday with his family. He knows they will make the day special for him. What he doesn’t know is his parents are planning a surprise party and have invited all the other children in the neighborhood.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet book about a happy milestone that everyone loves to celebrate. In the midst of party preparations, Peter’s mother, Mrs. Rabbit, takes the time to bake a pie for a new family in the neighborhood. It is very heartwarming that she did something thoughtful for another family, especially during a hectic day. This simple act of kindness sets a good example for children. Also, Mrs. Rabbit’s friends help her with the party preparations, a nice display of teamwork and friendship.

The story is written in a simple and easy to understand style. There are no sophisticated words or long, overly detailed descriptions that might be a source of frustration for younger children. A colorful, striped border at the top and bottom of each page reinforces the light-hearted party theme.

There are cute touches throughout the story, such as the food Peter’s mother prepares for the surprise party. This could serve as a nice starting point for a discussion about what types of foods rabbits like to eat or other interesting facts about these animals. I also liked it when Peter stops by the pond to play with rocks and becomes covered in mud. It’s funny and realistic that a young boy would stop to play and get dirty on the way home from an errand.

Six full-page illustrations are included in this 21-page book. I particularly liked the picture of everyone hiding behind the furniture before Peter arrives; one child even hides under an area rug.

While the artwork is beautiful, there are not enough pictures to fully augment the story. Also, the artwork is not spread out evenly throughout the book. For example, there are seven pages of text in the beginning before another picture is shown. Extra illustrations would help children improve their understanding of various parts of the plot and enhance their reading experience. There are several scenes for which there are no pictures – for example, Peter playing with rocks by the pond, coming home with mud all over his clothes, looking for a missing rock, a wonderful birthday gift, etc. With a few more illustrations, kids would be able to savor the interesting details in addition to seeing the more general aspects of the story. It would also give them extra visual clues when they learn to read.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is a quick, fun read with a positive message. Suitable for ages 3-8, the story would be a nice addition to any youngster’s bookshelf.

******
Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#2 by gali
» 29 Mar 2017, 23:16

Sounds like a cute book for kids. It is good that there are no sophisticated words, so kids can read it by themselves. A pity there aren't enough pictures. Thank you for the great review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#3 by bookowlie
» 29 Mar 2017, 23:28

Thanks Gali. The artwork was really cute. It might not have been so bad if the illustrations were spread out more evenly throughout the book. I still really enjoyed the book.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#4 by CatInTheHat
» 30 Mar 2017, 06:52

I've always enjoyed Peter Rabbit. He's an endearing character for children, one that they can connect to at times. It's too bad the story was short on graphics. I'm always looking for good books for nieces and nephews (my own are too old for this type of thing).
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#5 by MarisaRose
» 30 Mar 2017, 07:37

This sounds like such a sweet book! Based on the cover art, I really like the illustration style and can see why more illustrations would be helpful throughout the story. Thanks for the great review :)
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#6 by kandscreeley
» 30 Mar 2017, 08:08

It is too bad about the illustrations. Children that age need a lot to focus on. Sounds like a cute story though.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#7 by bookowlie
» 30 Mar 2017, 08:28

CatInTheHat wrote:I've always enjoyed Peter Rabbit. He's an endearing character for children, one that they can connect to at times. It's too bad the story was short on graphics. I'm always looking for good books for nieces and nephews (my own are too old for this type of thing).


I think everyone loves Peter Rabbit! In this book, the rabbits don't look like traditional rabbits. They look like rabbit-humans....dressed in human clothing, human-style bodies, and rabbit-shaped faces, noses and ears. Half rabbit/half human. :)

-- 30 Mar 2017, 09:30 --

MarisaRose wrote:This sounds like such a sweet book! Based on the cover art, I really like the illustration style and can see why more illustrations would be helpful throughout the story. Thanks for the great review :)


Thanks for the nice feedback! I love the artwork and think it would be very appealing to young children.

-- 30 Mar 2017, 09:32 --

kandscreeley wrote:It is too bad about the illustrations. Children that age need a lot to focus on. Sounds like a cute story though.


It really is a nice story. I agree that younger kids need a lot of pictures to focus on. It helps them visualize what's happening.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#8 by Shreyoshi Sen
» 30 Mar 2017, 10:41

Feel it's a sweet book just like children. Nice review.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#9 by bookowlie
» 30 Mar 2017, 10:42

Thanks for taking the time to read my review. Welcome to the forums!
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#10 by Amagine
» 30 Mar 2017, 13:05

I enjoyed reading your review. I especially liked how you mentioned what scenes could be topics of conversation between parent and child. Sometimes families forget that its not always about reading the book together. It's about the conversations you have about the book as well.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#11 by bookowlie
» 01 Apr 2017, 11:26

Amagine, thanks for the nice feedback. It's great if a children's book can be entertaining and educational at the same time.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#12 by Amagine
» 01 Apr 2017, 12:53

bookowlie wrote:Amagine, thanks for the nice feedback. It's great if a children's book can be entertaining and educational at the same time.


As someone who read books to children for a living, I completely agree with you. Children can be entertained but I feel that there must be something for them to gain after reading the book. Now as they get older, they can read for strictly entertainment purposes if they want. As young children though, there needs to be more.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#13 by Guppy
» 25 Apr 2017, 07:52

A cute story. I wonder though, is it an official Peter rabbit book or maybe a copyright infringement waiting to happen? The cover doesn't look like the Peter rabbit I remember.
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Re: Official Review: Peter Rabbit's Surprise Birthday Party

Post Number:#14 by bookowlie
» Today, 07:15

Amagine wrote:
bookowlie wrote:Amagine, thanks for the nice feedback. It's great if a children's book can be entertaining and educational at the same time.


As someone who read books to children for a living, I completely agree with you. Children can be entertained but I feel that there must be something for them to gain after reading the book. Now as they get older, they can read for strictly entertainment purposes if they want. As young children though, there needs to be more.


So true!

-- 27 Apr 2017, 08:16 --

Guppy wrote:A cute story. I wonder though, is it an official Peter rabbit book or maybe a copyright infringement waiting to happen? The cover doesn't look like the Peter rabbit I remember.


You bring up a very good point. The character is definitely not the same Peter Rabbit.
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