Dani is a Book & Wine Pairing Blogger from the mountains of West Virginia. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on while sipping on a glass of wine and snuggling with her fur-babies.

Professional ReaderReviews Published
KIDS DAY REVIEW BY LAUREL! - Albert's Very Unordinary Birthday

KIDS DAY REVIEW BY LAUREL! - Albert's Very Unordinary Birthday

Albert's Very Unordinary Birthday

Written & Illustrated By Daniel Gray-Barnett


Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Children's Fiction, Holidays & Celebrations
Age Range/Grade Level: 4-7 years/Preschool - Second Grade


On an ordinary day, in an even more ordinary town, it was Albert's birthday. Just like every other year, Albert asked for something special --- a robot piñata? balloon poodles? chocolate-cherry-ripple cake? And just like every other year, his parents suggested less exciting options, like birthday socks or birthday toast. But this year, after Albert closed his eyes and made a wish on the imaginary candle atop an imaginary piece of cake, Grandma Z knocked on his door. “Happy birthday, Albert,” she said. “Chocolate-cherry-ripple is a marvelous choice. Shall we go?” And Albert's birthday --- and his life --- was about to become anything but ordinary!

Daniel Gray-Barnett's debut picture book is a fun and fresh intergenerational romp, filled with wonder, imagination and a magical spirit. The quirky retro-style illustrations are full of energy and contain loads of delightfully odd details that add humor and playfulness to the story. With a modern-day grandma who is exciting and full of life --- her grandson's kindred spirit --- this book offers a new twist on celebrating the special role a grandparent can play within a family. A perfect read-aloud, the story of Albert's adventures with the irresistible Grandma Z is sure to captivate all children and make any day extraordinary!



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Author Bio:


Daniel Gray-Barnett is an Australian illustrator and author. He lives in the Huon Valley in Tasmania.

Self-taught, he studied Medical Science at the University of Sydney before swapping his microscope for pencils when he realised illustration had a much lower patient mortality rate.

Website / Facebook  / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Email

Guest Reviewer Bio:


Hello everyone! I am Laurel. My family consists of my husband, Vinny, our 5 year old son, J, and our 3 year old daughter, A. We recently adopted a white labradoodle puppy, Truman.

Weekdays you will find me at my sweet little elementary school where I am the librarian and computer teacher. Reading has always been my favorite hobby. I love to get away to places and times I have never experienced.

Even before we had children I loved children’s books. I was a classroom teacher for 5 years before switching to library media. I love when I can use a book to connect to a lesson or a situation in life. When Dani asked if I would be interested in reviewing some children’s books I jumped at the opportunity! 

Laurel's Review:

Albert’s Very Unordinary Birthday is a sweet tale about a young boy who has never had a real birthday celebration. That made me feel quite sad. I immediately noted that there was a lot of use of the color blue which I usually associate with sadness. I found it interesting though that J also noticed that there was a lot of blue and orange and he really liked that. Blue is his favorite color. Albert pretends he has a piece of cake and makes a birthday wish. Magically, his grandmother, whom he has never met before, arrives to take him out for his birthday. They embark on a very unrealistic and fantastical unordinary day. J’s favorite part was when they discovered a new beetle. He had lots of questions about the new beetle and noticed immediately when it was illustrated at the end of the story. We both enjoyed the illustrations. I felt like they did a great job providing a visual for the text. 

Overall, I would be happy to share this book with my elementary aged students. I feel there are plenty of talking points and lessons to reference. I also feel that children would be eager to choose this book based on the cover illustrations and title. 

Laurel's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚


From one bookaholic to another, we hope we’ve helped you find your next fix.
—Dani & Laurel

Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.

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