A birthday party sets the scene in this sweet and relatable story for anyone who's ever been the odd girl out.
It's Ginger's birthday, and she has to invite all the girls in her class to her party, including Lyla Browning. Lyla isn't like the other girls: she smells like old leaves, doesn't talk much, and once brought a tarantula to school for show-and-tell. On the day of the party, Lyla is much earlier than everyone else. But even after the others arrive, Ginger's party doesn't go quite the way she'd hoped: some of the girls change the rules to the games, and no one likes her silver and gold birthday cake -- except Lyla. By the time Lyla gives Ginger her present -- a tiny homemade nest with two delicious malted-milk eggs -- Ginger begins to wonder: is being different really such a bad thing?
Grades K-3. As Ginger’s birthday approaches, she looks forward to her party. Faced with the choice of inviting all of the girls in her class (even weird Lyla Browning) or none, she asks them all. But at the party, the classmates Ginger had wanted to include do the most annoying things: peeking during Blindman’s Bluff, starting the three-legged race without her, and turning up their noses at her favorite cake. Ginger’s biggest birthday surprise is that her favorite guest is Lyla, who becomes her friend. The nicely paced story creates a series of small moments that make Ginger’s emotional shifts seem natural and inevitable. Created with pencil, gouache, and digital collage in a simple style, the expressive illustrations capture awkward, sad, tender, funny, and happy times with equal facility. In an early scene, Ginger and Lyla sit at opposite ends of a long couch, while near the story’s end, they both sit mid-couch as Ginger opens Lyla’s perfect present. A fine picture book for reading aloud.