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Cover image for Arthur's birthday party
Arthur's birthday party




1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, ©1999.
Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Arthur the chimpanzee is determined to be the best all-around gymnast at his gymnastics birthday party.


Call Number

On Order



Happy Birthday, Arthur!

Arthur is having a gymnastics party for his birthday, with prizes for balancing, tumbling, and rope climbing. Arthur is sure that he will win the prize for best all--around gymnast. But his little sister, Violet, and her friend Wilma have been practicing--and they may have a surprise in store....

Author Notes

Lillian Hoban was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 18, 1925. She attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, studied dance with Martha Graham, and taught modern dance in New York and Connecticut. She also danced professionally in the 1950's.

During her lifetime, she illustrated or wrote more than 100 children's books. Her first publication was a book she illustrated, Herman the Loser, written by her husband Russell Hoban, and published in 1961. She illustrated several of his books including London Men and English Men, Charlie the Tramp, Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, and books about a badger named Frances such as A Baby Sister for Frances.

After the couple divorced in 1975, she began writing and illustrating I-Can- Read-Books including Joe and Betsy the Dinosaur, Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving, and a series about Arthur the Chimpanzee and his little sister Violet. She died from heart failure on July 17, 1998 at the age of 73.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2‘Hoban continues her successful series with this fast-moving story with lots of child appeal. Arthur is planning his gymnastics birthday party. He begins by showing off his athletic prowess in front of his little sister Violet and her friend Wilma. At his party, he plans to win the prize for best all-around gymnast. In fact, he brags so much it's a wonder that Arthur's friends even show up on the special day. At the party, however, all of the guests win a prize for their stunts, and Arthur is bestowed the honor he coveted. Hoban uses simple words and straightforward sentence structure in this easy reader. Longer words such as "trampoline" and "gymnastics" have obvious picture clues and are repeated frequently. Here, the artist uses more colorful pastels than in her earlier books. Action-filled pictures of various sizes appear on every double-page spread. Birthdays have always been a favorite theme of new readers and they will be happy to celebrate with this little chimpanzee.‘Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

(Primary) Arthur the chimpanzee (Arthur's Christmas Cookies, Arthur's Funny Money) is planning a birthday party. After defensively putting down the ""babyish"" ideas of younger sister Violet, Arthur settles on the idea of a gymnastics party, where there will be prizes and he will win. Norman and Wilma and Violet et al enthusiastically throw themselves into practicing for the big day, with Arthur out of sorts because they are all too busy practicing to play with him. On the day of the party, Arthur performs wonderfully-but so do all his friends. Fortunately for Arthur, although Norman is best on the trampoline and Wilma and Violet are the best team, Arthur gets the prize for ""best all-around gymnast."" ""'Just like I said I would!' yelled Arthur."" Hoban manages to pull off the unusual feat of a complete and empowering absence of grown-ups by setting the book outside-mostly in the vicinity of Arthur's play structure and yard-so that the presence of adults somewhere inside is reassuringly implicit. The happy resolution is not at all bland: there are some realistic sibling tensions and less than selfless impulses along the way. A welcome, and perhaps last, addition to the series. m.v.p. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Gr. 1-2. Looking forward to a gymnastics competition at his birthday party, Arthur imagines that each of his friends will win a prize for a particular skill, and that he will win the prize as the best all-around gymnast. The week before the party, Arthur is disappointed that his friends are too busy practicing gymnastics to play with him. Even sister Violet and her friend Wilma are planning a secret performance. It's worth it, though, when everyone at the party performs to perfection, and sure enough, Arthur is named the best overall gymnast. Softly shaded pencil drawings, brightened with watercolor washes, illustrate the story with style. Another rewarding story in the series featuring this beloved chimpanzee and his friends. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)006027798XCarolyn Phelan