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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
Oliver’s Birthday and the Robin’s Nest is written by Melanie Weiss and illustrated by Allen Groner. At first, it looks like it’s a book about a boy whose birthday is July 4th, and who wants a birthday celebration that he doesn’t have to share with the national party, which includes fireworks and barbeques for everyone. However, this book is also about robins. Oliver is finally going to get his wish – he will have his party two weeks early. His friends can come. They won’t be busy with their families celebrating the nation’s independence. And his parents have rented a pirate ship bouncy house for the event. His fantasy party is about to come true. Then robins build a nest right above his driveway, where the bouncy house will sit. His sister insists that robins won’t like the bouncy house. Oliver comes to like the robins, so he agrees to a smaller non-pirate bouncy house. But he’s sure his party will be ruined.
Oliver’s Birthday and the Robin’s Nest isn’t just the story of a boy and his party and the robins who build a nest in the middle of everything. The author has included a section at the end with facts about robins. How they build their nests. How long they take to hatch their eggs. How small the babies are when they are born. How their parents take care of them. How long it takes for them to learn to fly. Much of this information is also included in the story, but I recommend reading the end section first so you’ll appreciate what the robins are doing while Oliver plans his party. And revises his party. And gets his party guests excited about the robins! Robins are the star of the show here. Oliver may never think a birthday party is complete again unless it has robins.