Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Happy Birthday to you! The Mystery Behind the most Famous Song in the World

Happy Birthday to you! The Mystery Behind the most Famous Song in the World

Margot Theis Raven
Illustrator:  Chris Soentpiet 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Sleeping Bear Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1585361694

Patty Hill and her siblings had a wonderful childhood living with their loving mother and father. Their home was full of laughter and song, and both of Patty's parents believed in educating all their children well. Patty's mother Martha believed that little songs helped to "keep learning and tasks fun," and she came up with lots of little melodies for her children.

When she was all grown up, Patty trained to be a kindergarten teacher. Just like her mother, she wanted to use songs to help her little students to learn and to play. Patty came up with the words for a short four line song that would serve as a "good morning" welcoming song. Then she went to her sister Mildred. Mildred was a skilled musician, and in time she came up with a simple melody that the sisters felt would work. Indeed, the song would work for all kinds of occasions, including birthdays.

Most of us have sung the happy birthday song countless times, and yet we never think much about it. Now, for the first time, children will read about the story behind the song. Now, as we read this book, we will discover that a great deal of thought and care went into the creation of this much loved simple melody.

Wonderfully written and richly illustrated, this delightful picture book will entertain readers of all ages.