Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Happy Birthday: The Story of the World's Most Popular Song

Happy Birthday: The Story of the World's Most Popular Song

Nancy Kelly Allen
Illustrator:  Gary Undercuffler 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Pelican Publishing, 2010   ISBN: 978-1589806757

The Hill children were raised in a very unconventional way. Instead of living by the rule of “children should be seen and not heard” as so many of their contemporaries were, the Hills were encouraged to play outdoors, to laugh, and to have adventures. The children’s father believe that all his children, girls and boys alike, should have a college education, and he thought that music should be a part of every child’s education.

Mildred, the eldest, was a gifted piano music and it was as if she could “pluck a melody out of thin air.” Her sister Patty loved words, and when both girls completed their college educations they both went to work in the Louisville Experimental School. The sisters taught their students as they had been taught, infusing their teaching with games, fun, and music. Being so fond of music Mildred composed a little song called “Good Morning to all” to welcome her students to class ever morning, and this song soon became popular in schools all over the country. Then one day Patty came up with some new lyrics for the melody, and a new song was born.

This delightfully bright and cheerful picture book beautifully captures the energy of the Hill sisters and tells a story that children will love to hear.