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A Personalized Birthday Book

Written by Marlo Lancaster Illustrated by Todd Lancaster

Look for these boxes on each page to discover how uniquely personalized Birthday Village truly is – in both text and illustrations. Visit to learn more and to order your hardcover book.

This book is dedicated to

Nathan Charles Smith Born on April 21, 2009 We love you very much! Love, Mommy and Daddy

Title page includes child’s name, birthdate and a personalized dedication message from the gift giver. Written by Marlo Lancaster Illustrated by Todd Lancaster Copyright Š 2013 Birthday Village Book

Your child’s name is featured 51 times throughout the book. Also includes child’s parents and sibilings. There is a boy version and a girl version of the book, each with unique elements.


n the morning of April 21, Nathan Smith woke up to a wonderful surprise. Nathan looked out the window, and there in the front yard was a hot air balloon shaped like a giant cupcake. He ran to get his mother, father, and brother Logan, and they all rushed outside as fast as they could. “Good morning, Nathan! I hear that today is your birthday. I’m Ballard the Balloon Pilot, and I’m here to take you and your family on a balloon ride to Birthday Village.” “What is Birthday Village?” Nathan asked. “It is the best place in the world to spend your birthday, with so many things to see and so many people to meet. Jump in everyone,” Ballard said. “That sounds like a lot of fun,” said Nathan.

Familiar names for parents are used to make the story even more personalized. Nathan, Logan, Mommy, and Daddy all climbed into the balloon. Ballard hopped in behind them, and with a tug on the lever by his head, there was a loud whooshing sound as the balloon rose up, up into the air and away they went. They flew way up above the clouds, over the mountains, and down into a beautiful valley before finally landing in Birthday Village.

Once you arrive in Birthday Village you are greeted by the Mayor.

“You’re here! You’re here!” exclaimed an important looking man wearing a suit. “Welcome to Birthday Village, and Happy Birthday, Nathan!! I am Val Garvin, the Mayor of Birthday Village. We’ve been eagerly waiting for your arrival all morning. Everyone has been so busy preparing for you to be our special guest today.” Nathan said, “I’ve never heard of Birthday Village before.” “Well, Nathan, Birthday Village is a wonderful place. Every day of the year, someone has a birthday. We have invited you here to celebrate wonderful YOU, and your wonderful day, April 21. You are going to meet many fascinating people today. There is a lot to see. Shall we get started?”

“Let me introduce you to our 12 Birthday Buddies. Of course I have asked Alpert, our April Birthday Buddy, to be your tour guide today. He is quite the April expert.” “Pleased to meet you, Nathan. I know all there is to know about April birthdays. We have a lot to see so we better get going,” Alpert said to Nathan. Then he whispered into Nathan’s ear, “My birthday is in April, too.”

Each month has a different Birthday Buddy. The month your child is born in determines which of these 12 buddies will be featured in the foreground.

This is a boy’s version...

“Let me introduce you to our 12 Birthday Buddies. Of course I have asked Abby, our April Birthday Buddy, to be your tour guide today. She is quite the April expert.” “Pleased to meet you, Natalie. I know all there is to know about April birthdays. We have a lot to see so we better get going,” Abby said to Natalie. Then she whispered into Natalie’s ear, “My birthday is in April, too.”

And this is a girl’s version.

“Our first stop is the Magical Gardens. In this garden we grow twelve very special flowers — one for each month of the year. The most magical thing about our garden is that all of our flowers bloom all year long.” “Happy Birthday, Nathan! I’m Annie Bell the Gardener. I was working in my garden when I saw you arrive in the hot air balloon, so I’ve already prepared your April flower for you. It is the Sweet Pea. It’s beautiful, wouldn’t you agree? This one’s just for you,” and she handed Nathan a Sweet Pea. Nathan looked around the garden and found his mother’s birth flower, and then asked Annie Bell if it would be okay to pick a flower to give to his mother. “Of course you may, Nathan. How sweet you are.” Nathan thanked Annie Bell, and then headed out of the gardens with Alpert and his family.

The flower Annie Bell is holding will change based on your child’s birth month. All 12 birth flowers are featured in every book.

“Now we come to the Four Seasons Forest. Just like the flowers in the Magical Gardens, these trees stay this way the entire year,� Alpert explained to Nathan.

Your child discovers what season they were born in while visiting the Four Seasons Forest.

“Everyone’s birthday falls into one of the four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Your birthday is April 21, and that takes place in the spring. What do you like about the spring, Nathan?”

Alpert and Nathan walked out of the forest and towards the center of town. When they entered the first building they came to, Nathan saw two men inside. “Hi Nathan, I’m Ned the Number Guy and this is H.B., and we love numbers. Here’s an interesting number — 111.” “There are 365 days in a year, and did you know that your birthday is on the 111th day of the year with 254 days left in the year? Unless of course it is leap year and then, let’s see, we’d have to add a day….” “Never mind that,” said H.B. “Nathan, did you know that your Half-Birthday is on October 21? On that day, each year you turn a HALF year older. You should always celebrate your Half-Birthday, at least with a cupcake.” “Or an ice cream cone,” Alpert added. “Or a new calculator,” replied Ned. Alpert said, “What about you, Nathan? How do you like to celebrate your Half-Birthday?”

This chalkboard features your child’s birthday, Half-Birthday, day (out of 365) they were born on and how many days are left in the year.

Meet the Party Planners, busily planning for your child’s birthday party. Alpert then walked Nathan next door to meet the Party Planners. “Oh, hello Nathan, and Happy Birthday! I’m Franny Presto, the Party Planner and these are my sisters, Rose and Flo. We’ve been waiting to meet you all day. April 21 is such a special day. We’re going to make your day even more special by planning a fantastic party for you. What do you think of my shop? We have streamers, balloons, party hats, and candles in every color.” “Candles? For a cake?” Nathan asked excitedly. Franny laughed and said, “Of course, Nathan. That will be your next stop. Now hurry along. We’ve got lots of planning to do.”

Characters ask questions that promote discussion with your child. Mimi the Baker asks what kind of cake your child would like. The first thing that Nathan noticed when he entered the next shop was the wonderful smell that filled the air. Alpert said, “Say hello to Mimi the Baker, Birthday Village’s Baker Extraordinaire. You can’t have a birthday without a birthday cake!” “Pleased to meet you, Nathan. I have the honor of making your birthday cake today. There is chocolate cake with chocolate icing, vanilla cake with vanilla icing, vanilla cake with chocolate icing, or chocolate cake with vanilla icing. Or I can make you any other kind of cake that you can imagine. The possibilities are endless. So, Nathan, what will it be? What kind of cake would you like?”

Chef Mario asks what your child would like for their birthday dinner. “Happy Birthday, Nathan!! I’m Chef Mario. Everyone wants to eat cake on their birthday, but I think before you dig into your birthday cake you need to have a nice healthy meal first. I’ll whip you up your favorite meal in no time. Spaghetti and meatballs? Turkey and mashed potatoes? Pizza? You name it!” “Oh, oh, pizza sounds good to me,” Alpert said. “Alpert, I know it’s your birthday month too, but today is Nathan’s birthday,” said Chef Mario, “and he gets to choose.” It didn’t take Nathan long to decide what he wanted to have for his birthday dinner. He whispered his favorite dinner into Chef Mario’s ear.

As they approached the edge of town, Alpert said, “Our next stop is The Birthstone Mines. Every month of the year has its own special gemstone, and our mine has all of the birthstones of the twelve months. Diamond is your April birthstone. Harold, our chief miner, has found one for you. It’s magnificent, don’t you think?” Before they left the mine, each member of Nathan’s family pointed out their own birthstones.

Harold the Miner holds your child’s birthstone. All 12 birthstones are featured in every book.

When Nathan and Alpert left the Birthday Mines, they noticed the sun was setting and the sky was starting to get dark. “Perfect timing. You have one more person to meet,” Alpert told Nathan as they began to walk up a hill. At the top of the hill, Nathan saw a peculiar looking man staring into a telescope. As they got closer, he turned and exclaimed, “Well, hello there Birthday Boy. I’m Stanley Stargazer. There are twelve special groups of stars called constellations up in the night sky. If you look up in the sky, you will notice them. Everyone’s birthday falls under one of the twelve signs of the zodiac. You are a Taurus. That astrological sign falls between April 20 and May 20. The best thing about stars is that you can see them from any place on Earth — Birthday Village or your own backyard. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get going, but you can take a peek into my telescope to see the stars that make up your constellation.”

Stanley Stargazer points to your child’s constellation featured prominently in the night sky. All 12 constellations of the zodiac are featured in every book.

There is a birthday party for your child attended by everyone in Birthday Village.

Alpert led Nathan and his family down the hill and towards the center of town. As they turned the corner, Nathan saw that everyone had gathered in the center of Birthday Village to celebrate his birthday. Everyone began singing, “Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday, dear Nathan! Happy Birthday to YOU!!� Nathan saw the special birthday cake that Mimi the Baker had made him. He blew out the candles on his cake, and made a wish while all of his new friends clapped and cheered.

Just then, Ballard said, “Quiet down everyone. The Mayor has a very important announcement to make.” The mayor cleared his throat and then said, “I hereby declare that today, the 21st day of April, from this day forward, will be known as Nathan Smith Day in Birthday Village!!!” Everyone cheered even louder. Nathan enjoyed every minute of his birthday party with all of his new friends. He ate his favorite meal that Chef Mario had prepared especially for him, gobbled up a piece of his delicious birthday cake that Mimi the Baker had baked, and chatted with all of his birthday guests. As the party was coming to an end, Ballard said to Nathan, “We’d better head back.” Nathan was getting tired after such a busy day in Birthday Village and was looking forward to crawling into his bed, but he wondered out loud, “Is it safe to fly in a cupcake balloon at night?” Ballard said, “No worries, Nathan. We have a candle on the top to light our way.” Ballard was preparing the cupcake balloon for takeoff while Nathan said goodbye to all of his new friends, thanked them for such an unforgettable birthday, and promised that he would be back again next year!!

The Mayor declares your child’s birthday will be dedicated to them in Birthday Village.

For a third time that night, everyone cheered as they waved good-bye to Nathan and his family as the cupcake balloon began floating away into the night sky.

At the end of the day you are transported safely back home in the cupcake balloon.

At the end of the day you are transported safely

Birthday Buddies on back cover change based on child’s gender.

Children are special, birthdays are special, and children’s birthdays are extra, extra special.

Copyright © 2013 by Birthday Village Book

Birthday Village  

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