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Kipper's Birthday - Mick Inkpen

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Author: Mick Inkpen / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 15 May 2008 / Genre: Picture Books / Publisher: Hachette Children's Books / Title: Kipper's Birthday / ISBN 13: 9780340932063 / ISBN 10: 0340932063 / Alternative EAN: 9780340610565

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    7 Reviews
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      28.07.2010 22:00
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      Another Mick Inkpen classic

      Having recently celebrated his third birthday, my youngest son's latest story of choice at bedtime has been 'Kipper's Birthday' by Mick Inpen. Kipper the dog is one of Inkpen's most popular children's book characters and this story follows the build-up and preparations for Kipper's forthcoming birthday as the cute pup sets about painting party invitations and baking a cake for the celebrations.

      Complications begin to arise when Kipper invites his friends to his party 'tomorrow' but doesn't actually get round to giving the invitations out until the following day. This results in an increasingly despondent (and increasingly hungry) Kipper waiting at home for his friends to turn up. Eventually, temptation proves too much and Kipper ends up eating the entire cake, thinking that his friends have all forgotten about his party. Poor Kipper!

      My son's favourite part of the story is when Kipper is baking his cake and he actually calls this story 'Kipper bakes a cake' although, admittedly, we do also own a copy of 'Spot bakes a cake' which might account for some of the confusion! He insists on reading this book twice each sitting and really seems to concentrate on the story as well as the clear and colourful pictures each time.

      I do have a couple of minor issues with the storyline, particularly when read to pre-schoolers. Much of the story surrounds the confusion that surrounds the use of 'tomorrow' in the invitations and one of Kipper's friends tries to explain to Kipper exactly where he has gone wrong. 'Your birthday must have been tomorrow the day before yesterday...So yesterday it would have been today, but today it was yesterday. Do you see?' I find that the whole concept of time and the use of non tangible ideas such as 'tomorrow' and 'yesterday' are particularly difficult for very young children to grasp anyway. My three year old, for example, always insists that whatever he happens to be talking about in the recent past took place either 'tomorrow' or, strangely 'on Sunday.' For instance, 'We went swimming tomorrow didn't we Mummy?', even though we actually went about three weeks ago! For this reason, I don't think that he can fully grasp the whole plot of Kipper's Birthday as we read along but that doesn't seem to affect his enjoyment and certainly hasn't deterred him from continuing to choose this story every evening for several weeks.

      Another abstract concept that I think may be beyond the basic comprehension of a pre-school child is that of dreaming and within this story Kipper is described as dreaming about cake boulders crashing towards him accompanied by a picture of a bubble coming out of the sleeping Kipper. Again, I think the true meaning goes over my son's head but this doesn't affect his enjoyment of the story as a whole.

      In all, this is a firm favourite for the bedtime slot with Kipper and his animal friends proving to be a popular choice for my son. This book might even prove to be a useful discussion point for slightly older children too as the language used in general is suitable for early independent readers and it could be used as a means to discuss some of the more abstract concepts of time and days, for example.

      ISBN: 0340932066
      Hodder Children's Books
      Paperback copies available on Amazon for £4.06
      (Used copies from £1.31 plus postage.)

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        05.03.2009 22:11
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        A great book from author Mick Inkpen that children will love

        This book, by the terrific writer Mick Inpen, was one that was highly recommended by my tutors when I was at teaching college years ago. As students we were advised that it would be a worthwhile book to have in your classroom, and understandly so. As usual, I picked this up in a charity shop for 25p, in great condition, but you can buy it on Amazon for around £4.50

        Many children are probably aware of Kipper the dog, and in fact, Mick Inkpen has several other books about this character including Kipper's Toybox and Kipper's Snowy Day.

        This delightful book however centres around Kipper's birthday, quite obviously from the title. Each page contains wonderful illustrations for the children to look at and consider, and perfectly reflect the story being told.

        The story starts with Kipper painting his invitations. It is very effective since the writing for the invitation is actually wrote in the way that a young child would spell eg. plees come to my bithday party tomoro .......
        As a teacher thinking about the topic of birthdays or simply wanting simple writing activities, this text is a great means by which to introduce the concept of writing birthday invitations.

        The story continues on with Kipper making his birthday cake. The author describes the ingredients that Kipper needs and some of the language that relates to cooking/baking. In a very simplistic but lovely way it desribes how Kipper, who has never made a cake, is surprised to find that the 'flat thing' that he has just made, changes slowly into a 'sort of heap' - the heap being his birthday cake. Again, even as a parent this story lends itself well to getting children involved in cooking or baking.

        On the morning of his birthday, Kipper realises that he needs to send out the invitations, as well as getting balloons. Later, children get a chance to think about emotions and feelings since they see Kipper sitting alone at his birthday party with none of his friends having arrived. The cake is ready, balloons are up, and no one has come.

        Kipper is soon asleep, sleeping all night, dreaming of climbing mountains made of cake, but 12 o'clock comes and their is a knock at the door. This part of the book is particulary good for encouraging children to predict what will happen next in the story. Hopefully the children will suggest that it is some of Kipper's friends - which it is.

        Children can spend time thinking about how Kipper's friends got confused about the day of the birthday. The more observant children will probably have noticed that the invitation, given on the day of Kipper's birthday actually said 'tomoro' and have realised why Kipper's friends turned up a day late.

        The story comes to a close with Kipper having a great party with his friends, and opening some of his presents. Again, this part of the story can be used for more prediction- what will be in the presents, what shape is that present?

        What the children probably won't guess is that the presents include napkins, candles, and best of all - a birthday cake for Kipper.

        All in all, this is a wonderful story, that I can't imagine any child would not like. It is a well told story, and older children may be able to read some of it along with an adult. It is a great book for a teacher or for a child, and has been used successfully in a story sack in our school- in which children take home the book to read with a parent along with props to retell the story, and help bring it to life eg. birthday invitation, presents to guess, ingredients list. The possibilities are endless with this book, and open up lots of conversations about birthdays with children - as if they needed an excuse!

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          29.10.2008 15:58
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          Suitable for reading to pre-school children.

          Kipper is a charming little dog who features in several books by Mick Inkpen.

          This story shows Kipper preparing for his birthday, by making party invitations for all his friends asking them to come to his birthday party tomorrow. Whilst the invitations are drying Kipper sets about making a cake, adding lots of yummy ingredients, then rolling it flat before finally squeezing it into a cake shape and baking it. By this time Kipper is too tired to deliver his invitations.

          The next day Kipper wakes up and rushes out to deliver his party invitations. His friends open their invitations which say that the party is tomorrow. However, Kipper is ready with balloons and a his lovely heap of a cake, today. Kipper waits for his friends to arrive but no one does so he starts to eat the cake, and manages to finish the whole lot and then falls asleep, dreaming about climbing a mountain made of cake.

          He is woken up, the next day, by a knocking at the door - his friends have come. Kipper is embarrassed and confused and he hasn't got a cake to offer his friends. But his friends have bought him a very apt present and all ends well.

          This is a delightful story, which cannot fail to amuse young children. The illustrations are beautiful, colourful and simple, which children will want to peruse on their own.

          The Kipper stories have also been made into a television series, and are widely available on DVD.

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            04.01.2001 00:22

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            Kipper is a lovable dog, created by author and illustrator Mick Inkpen. There is a series of books about the character, one of which is ... Kipper's Birthday This begins with Kipper making party invitations and a cake, ready for his party. But there is a problem, his invitations tell his friends the party is for tomorrow, but he is expecting them to arrive that day ! Not surprisingly, everything turns out fine in the end and Kipper has a lovely birthday. The story is simple and easy for children to understand, but it is the beautiful drawings that really make this book special. This is most suitable for children aged between two and five years old.

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            01.10.2000 09:33

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            If you've got a young child you can't have missed Kipper, one of the most lovable children's creations around. This story revolves around Kipper's plans for his birthday, from invitations to cake making. Kipper's problems arise when he writes out the invites for a party "tomorrow" and then doesn't deliver them until the next day. A lovely story but a slightly difficult concept for very young children to take in - tomorrow is today and today was yesterday etc. but a good way to introduce time to children

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            10.08.2000 04:25
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            This chap has done some really good books, in particular this one Kipper's Birthday. So simplistic and such lovely illustrations. It is one that the children will sit for hours and read. I recommend any of his books and consider them a great investment as they will always sell second hand. He certainly makes it more fun to read with your child because you love the books too. I would recommend any of the Kipper books but especially this one as it explains all about what they are in simplistic terms. Go on you'll love it!

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            21.07.2000 20:55
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            if ever there was a competition to find an author who could relate best to children then Mick Inkpen would come out a clear winner. his storylines are simple but extremely effective. Their simplicity has an appeal to both adaults and children alike. the illustrations are alive and graphically illustrate the story as it goes along. Even if the child is unable to read the story independently it does not matter because the illustrations tell the story effectively. Mick Inkpen's stories always have a happy ending - an essential ingredient in children's literature.

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