Happy Birthday To Me

A child runs through a spectrum of emotions on the best day of the year—their birthday!

Early-morning excitement gives way to shyness at the arrival of guests, hunger for cake, a craze for arts and crafts, and some real piñata problems. So how can a kid possibly answer that age old question: “How does it feel to be a year older?” 

From bestselling picture-book creator Thao Lam comes this irrepressible celebration of emotions, captured in a rainbow of cut-paper collage. Happy Birthday to Me makes for the perfect birthday present or anytime-guide to naming our feelings.

Written and Illustrated by

Thao Lam


April 4, 2023 with Groundwood Books

Starred reviews

  • “VERDICT Lam, as usual, has a finger on the pulse of a child’s life, and this self-centric version is absolutely spot-on in corralling just how important a birthday is to a preschooler.” — School Library Journal – STARRED REVIEW
  • “Worthy of a celebration, this is a multifaceted yet child-friendly exploration of the big emotions associated with birthdays.” — Kirkus Reviews – STARRED REVIEW

Notable reviews

  • “A perfect picture book for any time of year, regardless of your birth date! Full of beautiful images created with cut paper collage, the story follows a child on their favourite day of the year (their birthday) and asks “how does it feel to be a year older?” — Toronto International Festival of Authors
  • “Lam’s picture book also provides opportunities for parents and families to share stories about feeling emotions that may not be congruent with the situation.” — Mochi Magazine
  • “Lam’s chunky cut-paper collage art seems tailor-made for a birthday bash. Happy Birthday to Me offers the gift of amusement and reassurance to readers who have found that being the center of attention makes them feel… well, a whole bunch of ways.” — Shelf Awareness
  • “I love the language that Ms. Lam uses to help her readers experience exactly what is going on as the party progresses. Those listening will certainly recognize the myriad of moods the youngster encounters as she goes through her day. The cut-paper collages are cleverly crafted to bring the party to life and make the emotions apparent.” — Sal’s Fiction Addiction
  • “The massage here is that every emotion has its place. A perhaps subtle message, which could easily be missed, is the diversity of the friends who celebrate with her. Every emotion is welcome and so too is every friend.” — Quebec Library Association

Contact Thao Lam

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