Do you have any birthday traditions in your family? Author Joni Rubinstein started a birthday eve tradition of reading a poem to her children when they were just one year old. The poem eventually became her book, The Night Before My Birthday Book.
The book is bursting with colorful multi-cultural illustrations that capture the excitement felt by children as they are tucked in bed the night before a birthday. It also celebrates the magical transition children experience on the birthday eve as they go to sleep and wake up a brand new age. The book is a way for children and loving adults to commemorate the continuous transitions and joys of family life. Children come into hearts and homes in different ways; this book is for all families.
Recently, I read this book to my 11-year old granddaughter on the eve of her birthday while her 7-year old sister looked on. They both loved the illustrations and thought it was fun that there’s a blank space where you insert the child’s age into the story. On the next page you insert the child’s new age as well as the number of hugs and kisses and candles on the birthday cake.
There are pages at the back of the book to keep a birthday chronicle. On those pages, you can record who read the book to the birthday child, the date, and which birthday eve is being celebrated. There are lines to include dreams that came true for that year, events and accomplishments to remember. This creates a childhood memoir, a keepsake for a lifetime.
The book can be read to children of any age. All you need is love and a child with a birthday. Starting young strengthens the birthday tradition but children of any age will enjoy a special focused time of celebrating the event that transformed everyone who loves them. The author still reads the book to her adult children on the phone and they read it to her. It’s a tradition that has lasted decades and everyone in the family, three generations, looks forward to it. No one is too old for The Night Before My Birthday Book!
Another reason to buy the book is to support a new organization called Birthday Wishes, a non-profit organization in Boston that provides birthdays to homeless children living in shelters. Joni works with homeless children and families and donates a portion of her book sales to them. For many children in shelters their living situation provides them safety and survival. Birthday Wishes provides them with joy and a celebration of their life. Joni has donated several books to the shelters so their children can have a night before their birthday moment in the midst of their stressful conditions. On the birthday they provide a party with cake and gifts.