Princess Alyssa's Big Birthday Party

Children - General
20 Pages
Reviewed on 09/30/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Princess Alyssa's Big Birthday Party is a children’s picture book written by Janice Blue Washington and illustrated by Justin Ransburg and Krystal “Gem” Jackson. Princess Alyssa just couldn’t understand why her big sister, Princess Jamya, wasn’t as excited as she was. It was finally her birthday! Her sister looked angry and out of sorts as Alyssa jumped up and down on her bed. "Go back to sleep," Jamya told her. "It’s not your birthday yet." And though indeed the clock showed that Princess Alyssa’s birthday had already begun, it was still dark outside, and neither of her sisters was willing to begin the big day early. Princess Alyssa herself gave in to the temptation of a few more hours of sleep and almost missed out on her big birthday gala. She quickly dressed in her pink and purple gown and descended the palace’s grand stairway. All her friends were there, waiting to celebrate her birthday, and there was so much more -- giraffes, elephants, street performers, and the largest cake Princess Alyssa had ever seen. It was indeed a big birthday party and it was all for her.

Janice Blue Washington’s Princess Alyssa's Big Birthday Party is a fanciful and fun look at a regal and truly fit-for-a-princess party. The opening pages of the story reminded me of children’s impatience for Christmas to finally start as the excited young princess tries to get her sisters in the celebratory mood while they still would much rather be asleep. I especially appreciated the abrupt turn-around as Princess Jamya gets to wake up her sister, whose earlier impatience left her exhausted and still asleep. Washington’s book is a grand selection for storytime, but it’s also written at a level that will make it a favorite with young readers, who are eager to try reading on their own. Ransburg and Jackson’s bold and brightly colored illustrations make Princess Alyssa’s party feel real, and each panel is loaded with details for kids to pore over and enjoy. Princess Alyssa's Big Birthday Party is highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

When you’re young, having a birthday party is very exciting. Princess Alyssa is about to have the biggest birthday party ever – at least, in her family’s kingdom. She’s so excited, she tries to wake everyone up in the middle of the night, as soon as the clock strikes the hour of a new day, her day, her birthday. First, she jumps up and down next to her older sister, Princess Jamya, who yells back in frustration because she just wants to sleep. Then Princess Alyssa tries to wake her other sister, Princess Airea, but this sister is too sound asleep to respond to Princess Alyssa’s excited announcements. Frustrated, Princess Alyssa goes to her own room, collapsing on her bed and falling asleep. Will she wake up in time for her birthday? And will it be the biggest and the best birthday party ever?

Janice Blue Washington’s picture book story, Princess Alyssa’s Big Birthday Party, is an exciting adventure for young readers, especially those who love a fun-filled birthday party. The plot is simple, but follows a steady rise in excitement as the young princess tries to awaken everyone in the middle of the night to start celebrating her birthday, only to fall asleep and almost miss it herself. The colorful and fun-filled illustrations help carry the story along and the dialogue between the sisters is very realistic. The language is simple and is suitable for the reading age group for this story. The story addresses an issue that young readers will recognize: the overly powerful emotion of excitement and how it can consume a person. A fun read.

Shannon Winings

Wake up, everyone! It’s Princess Alyssa’s birthday and she’s not wasting a single moment. Despite it being the early hours of the morning, she runs to tell her sisters but both are in bed. She is able to wake up Princess Jamya and is met with annoyance. Her big sister points out the obvious – it is still dark and she is trying to sleep. After being kicked out of Princess Jamya’s room, she won’t let herself get down and goes to her other sister, Princess Airea. She is sound asleep and doesn’t even seem to hear Alyssa. Disappointed, Alyssa returns to her room. Of course, she is sad that no one seems as excited as she is for her birthday but, before she knows it, she curls up in bed and is fast asleep. What will happen when she wakes up?

Princess Alyssa's Big Birthday Party by Janice Blue Washington is a wonderfully cute children’s picture book. The book was adorable. Every page was filled with color and the illustrations were detailed and well done. I also like that this picture book had people of a different race used as the main characters. While I have noticed more authors doing this, it is good to see and more kids can relate to the characters. Along those lines as well, I really enjoyed how relatable the characters were, even the older sisters. As an older sister myself, I found it very familiar. You can feel their moods, as well as Alyssa’s own excitement, disappointment, and surprise.