Baja Brody

The Birthday Surprise (Baja Brody Adventures)

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Christina Willis is a Writer, Entrepreneur, Investor, Author, award winning Poet and Publisher.
A mother of five and a grandmother, spending time with her family is her greatest joy. She grew up in Central Point, Oregon and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she currently resides with her family.
Her children’s book series Baja Brody’s Adventures, and interactive website for children, keeps her time meticulously divided, working diligently to continue creating her brands.
Founded in 2007, JB Blakely, LLC is an umbrella for all of her publishing products and business entities.
As founder and co-creator of the whimsical website 2BrainyBlondes blogsite, (under construction) created to encourage some humorous writing for compilation books.
Her most recent muse and newest release, the Basic Writer app found at and in the Apple Itunes app store. This app has quickly become a writer’s staple.
She is currently a member of the advisory board and marketing team for a start-up/patent gaming company NGA (Native Games America) to see more go to
An active member of the Henderson Writers’ Group, Christina holds the Publicity Officers chair, she handles all advertising and publicity for both the group and The Las Vegas Writer’s Conference. For more information please visit our pages and
With limited spare time Christina enjoys reading most genres, some of her favorites include memoirs, children’s stories, inspirational and educational books. Spending time freelance writing and traveling.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Baja Brody and the Birthday Surprise: Baja Brody Adventures is a children’s picture book written by Christina Willis and illustrated by Ralph Thomas. In his imagination, young Baja Brody is an extraordinary racing car driver whose exploits in the desert on his dune buggy are the stuff of legend. His co-pilot and faithful companion, Doodles, is always right there along with him on all of his adventures. The magic stops, however, when his mom calls Brody in for lunch and a nap. After lunch, Brody and Doodles are settled in for a nap and Brody’s starting to dream about racing when he realizes that he’s forgotten something very important. It’s Doodles’ third birthday today, and Brody has hidden something very special for him, but he needs his keys to get to it. The big problem now is where are those keys?

Christina Willis’ children’s picture book, Baja Brody and the Birthday Surprise, is great fun for adults and kids alike. Willis’ story is fast-paced and entertaining, and the rhyme schemes make it read quite nicely. She’s also an intuitive master at sharing with the reader the breadth and power of a kid’s imagination. Ralph Thomas’ illustrations work perfectly with the story. Each panel is brightly colored and filled with action and detail. I especially like the shadowy images that appear in some panels that seem to bridge the world of the imagination with the duller one where most adults reside. Baja Brody and the Birthday Surprise is perfect for story time sessions, but it's also an excellent choice for new readers. It’s highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Baja Brody: Birthday Surprise is a children’s picture book by Christina Willis, and part of the Baja Brody Adventures series. The story is accompanied by the illustrations of Ralph Thomas, and together they tell the tale of a little boy named Baja Brody and his faithful friend Doodles, a toy puppy. Both Doodles and Baja’s orange buggy come to life in the boy’s imagination, where he races like a pro across wild exotic climates with unstoppable speed and skill. After his wild imaginative play, Baja comes back to his real life, only to remember he has a special party to plan for Doodles, and it’s a race against time to get things right.

Christina Willis writes engaging rhymes with interesting changes in rhythm to bring Baja’s adventures to life. It strikes me as the kind of a book a child would learn to recite at bedtime, even before they can read. Ralph Thomas’s illustrations are bright, bold and full of interesting details for children to explore, and they complement the verses on each page perfectly. The message of Baja Brody: Birthday Surprise is simple and effective, providing a light-hearted look at the power of imagination and the importance of friendship, whilst also sprinkling that tiny dash of magic where children often believe that their toys have a life of their own when they’re not looking. Overall, I would highly recommend Baja Brody: Birthday Surprise as a delightful and colourful read for young children to enjoy with their parents, or read alone when they’re first learning.

Jane Finch

Baja Brody and the Birthday Surprise is written by Christina Willis and illustrated by Ralph Thomas, and tells the story of Baja’s busy day. He starts off racing his dune buggy and gets really carried away by the excitement and thrill of the race. His best friend, Doodles, sits beside him and together they career through the desert track, and before he knows it, it’s time for lunch and nap time. It’s only when Baja is trying to sleep that he realises he has forgotten Doodles’ birthday. Baja had planned a surprise but realises he has lost his keys. There follows a hunt high and low to find them and so get the surprise he has planned for Doodles. Eventually, Doodles saves the day.

This is a story that races along, let alone the dune buggy! It’s fast and wild and reflects exactly what the author is trying to convey – that in the crazy and busy world in which we live, it’s easy to forget the important things in life. To Baja, Doodles is his best friend, and he had been so busy with the racing and the excitement that he clean forgot about his best friend’s birthday and all he had planned. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed, but this story shows it’s important to remember others even when we are having so much fun. The story has a great pace and this is enhanced by it being told in rhyme, while the colourful illustrations really make this a must-read for all busy children everywhere.


Fantastic! This will definitely catch the attention and interest of our grand children.