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CALEB'S BIRTHDAY WISH

Author: David Villanueva, Jr.

Illustrator: Edmundo Sanchez

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Publisher: A Better Be Write Publishers,

Material: paperback

Summary: When blowing out the candles, Caleb, a disabled child, had one wish for his birthday: he wanted to fly. When he reached for two balloons, he stated his wish again, and then magical things happened. This is a picture book fantasy about a boy's wish coming true.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 13

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Age of Child: Started reading with 5-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler/kindergartener likes this book. We have read it several times and each time s/he watches the events unfold with rapt attention. For about a week now, s/he has pulled this from the shelf as one of the books to read before bed.

Adult Reader Reaction: The story has a nice premise, though I doubt kids will understand the "was it a dream or did it really happen" ending. We are amazed at our child's interest in the book, as it is rather wordy given the premise.

Pros: Families looking for stories featuring kids with disabilities will find this book a nice fit. Kids love birthdays and a story where wishes come true will engage their imagination. The activity pages offer something for everyone in each level of the target audience: picture games and word games.

Cons: The pages are VERY busy. Although there is a fair bit of dialogue, it is all put together in single paragraphs per page. When you combine that with the bright, detailed illustrations, it can get annoying.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The story is creative and has some fun elements. It just isn't one we can recommend for a permanent library collection.

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Educational Themes: There are several ways to explore the story, with or without highlighting Caleb's disability: the fun of dreaming, celebrating a birthday, using one's imagination.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, health, illness, multicultural

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