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Arthur's Birthday Surprise    by Marc Brown order for
Arthur's Birthday Surprise
by Marc Brown
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is one of the Arthur series, familiar to many fans of the books and (PBS Kids) television show. It's D.W.'s birthday and everyone is busy demanding cake and ice cream. But the birthday girl seems distracted, looking out the window for 'A surprise that's a little late.' What can it be?

D.W. is very disappointed when Mary Moo Cow can't come - the poor bovine is sick to her four stomachs. But then there's a 'moo-raculous recovery', and the purple cow entertains everyone with an 'Udderly Amazing Magic Show', proves she's no 'cow-ard' with daring acrobatics, and gives the kids 'wild and crazy' rides. The party's a big success, with a surprise at the end for the reader, when D.W. tells us about the 'best present' of her birthday.

Arthur's Birthday Surprise captures the frenzied excitement of a child's birthday, as well as the lengths to which family members will go to make it a happy one. It's a delightful new episode in a heartwarming series - and there's a fun party game on the back cover.

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