"Anything special happening today, Daddy?" Patricia asked, hoping it would help him remember. "Nope, honey. Today's about the same as any other day, I'd say."
Some birthday! Where was the cake with all the candles, the brightly wrapped present, and the family singing "happy birthday" all together? Not only had the festivities apparently been forgotten, but Dad suggests a trip to one of the scariest places on earth -- home of the Clay Pit Bottoms Monster!
With a sparkle of mischief, Patricia Polacco's bold, expressive pictures tell how a certain little girl has the spookiest, most exciting, funniest, and best birthday ever.
The entire family has forgotten Patricia's birthday. And to make matters worse, Dad has proposed an evening trip to the Clay Pit at the edge of town--``one of the scariest places on earth.'' Armed with campfire provisions and outfitted in rain gear and galoshes, Dad, Patricia, her brother Rich and cousin Billy embark on the eerie adventure. But when Dad walks off to investigate a mysterious rustling, the children are certain they've spotted the notorious Clay Pit Monster and run screaming all the way home. Belly laughs abound as Dad reveals the monster's true identity, and then the real fun begins--a party for the birthday girl complete with cake and presents. Polacco's ( Rechenka's Eggs ; The Keeping Quilt ) warm illustrations are bursting with homey details, from sweaters frayed at the elbows and worn armchairs to miniature framed snapshots and overloaded electrical outlets. Her particularly emotive faces come alive with fear and anticipation, and a skillful blend of bold, moonlit night scenes and the ample white space of day provides an exciting sense of motion. Polacco has served up a delicious slice of family life. Ages 4-7.