Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

What a Year

What a Year

Tomie dePaola
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Penguin Putnam, 2002   ISBN: 978-0399237973

We all love our birthdays and Tomie is no exception. This, his sixth, birthday is extra-special because he gets to have his party at school. The reason he is having his party at school is that Tomie wanted to invite his entire class to his birthday party and this seemed the best way to go about it. What is rather wonderful about the whole thing is that he practically has two birthdays; one at school on Friday and one with his family on his "real" birthday on Sunday. Just when Tomie thinks that he cannot possibly get another "favorite" thing he does!

Turning six changes a lot of things; for one thing it means that one is old enough to go out trick or treating. Tomie takes quite a while to decide what it is that he wants to dress up as, but once he does he chooses something, his choice turns out to be such a good one that he has everyone fooled.

Turning six also means that you get to help out more. Tomie is delighted to be able to help Uncle Charles decorate Tom and Nana’s store for Thanksgiving. There are so many preparations to be made and Tomie has a wonderful time being in the middle of everything, including decorating the place cards himself.

In this installment of Tomie DePaola’s childhood memoir’s we get a wonderful selection of stories about how his family celebrated various holidays and family celebrations. Told from Tomie’s point of view and in his own words, it is both interesting and entertaining to read about how Tomie’s family had their own tradition’s on Thanksgiving and Christmas that were unique to them.