mr90043940713Tomorrow, December 24th, is a very special day in the kidlit world, but we’re celebrating today, because early celebrations extend the joy.

In our writing and reading community, there is a person who reads voraciously, writes book reviews by the score (both for his blog and for his local newspaper), has recently published his first book, is an eager participant in blog activities such as Susanna Leonard Hill’s short story contests, and is an encouragement, inspiration, and cheering section for us all.

His name is Erik and he’s the Kid behind the blog This Kid Reviews Books. I first got to know Erik through Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) in 2011, as well as Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, in which Erik is a regular participant, and through the first year of Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 — as well as through his terrific blog. I am grateful to be able to call this young man my friend.

Tomorrow is his 12th birthday. How about that? Turning 12 in the 12th month, on a day which is a multiple of 12! That’s something to celebrate. ERIK is someone to celebrate. And we’re doing that today.

Welcome to the kidlit community’s BIRTHDAY PARTY for ERIK!


A birthday party requires proper headwear. Help yourself to a hat, and a handful (or two) of streamers and confetti.

Party hat

Anyone for a game of balloon volleyball? Try to keep as many balloons in the air as possible, while batting them back and forth across the room. If they land in the fruit punch, they’re out of bounds.

Holiday backgrund with balloons

Speaking of games, no self-respecting birthday party dare show its face around me without a few games to play.

Here are some birthday word puzzles from KidGen for starters. Fun English Games has some writing games for kids. Learn how to write your name in hieroglyphics at LearnEnglishKids. To inject an extra touch of class into this party, how about some Shakespeare games for kids from the Folger Shakespeare Library?

You may have already played the word definition game at Free Rice — as you choose the correct definition for the words shown to you, rice is donated to people in need. (I checked it on Snopes, it’s legit.) With It’s Greek to Me, you can learn about Greek influences on our English language. And Super Thinkers lets you solve mysteries!

Okay — is anyone still at the party, or are you all playing games? Maybe some CAKE will get your attention! Ha. I thought that would bring you running…

birthday cake and candles on black background

Erik, are you ready to blow out the candles? There is an extra candle for luck, and to test your lung power. Make a wish! Ready… Set… Huff… Puff… WHOOOOOOOOOSH! Well done!

And what would a birthday party be without presents?

This box contains dreams, hopes, and determination — all the things you need to make the coming year a great one. In the comments below, you’ll find everyone’s good wishes for your birthday and onwards. Those, too, are part of your gift — from us to you.

Opening a special present box

Have a wonderful birthday, Erik! May it be the start of an awesome year!

~  ~  ~

Everyone in attendance at Erik’s party, please leave your greetings and good wishes in the comments.

Thanks for being here!

~  ~  ~

Note: all images except Erik’s logo are licensed through fotolia.


  1. Happy Birthday Erik! Well, you can call my last email to you, your birthday gift, then. 😉 Have a wonderful day!!

    1. Your last email to me was awesome, Cool Mom! 😀

  2. *smiles from ear to nose to ear (it’s that big)* 😆 THANK YOU MS. STILBORN!!! I’m gonna:
    1. Eat the cake.
    2. Put the box by my Writing Desk, and put an inspiration catcher over it (they look like dream catchers).
    3. Run around the room with you and Cool Mom and the other guests bopping the balloons around (Josie and I did this with our grandmother and great-uncle when they came to visit). 🙂
    4. Throw lots of confetti!
    5. Then we play some games!!! 😆
    This is an awesome surprise!
    THANK YOU!!! 😀 😀 😀 I’m off to play some games (AKA go to school) but I’ll be back! 😀

    1. Oh, I am SO glad you like your party, Erik! You’re welcome! The inspiration catcher is perfect! I think we all should have one of those! Have fun, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  3. Have a happy, happy, happy birthday, Erik! And it has to be happy, happy, happy because of the Rule of Three!!!! So, triple your fun! Triple your celebration! Why heck…triple your piece of cake!!!
    A Happy X3 birthday is what you deserve!!! Happy! Happy! Happy!

    1. So, 3 cakes for me, 3 times of each game, and 3 times the fun and stuff with all of my blogger friends? Great idea! 😆 Thanks! 😀

  4. Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Erik. Hope you have a wonderful birthday, cake and all the fun! I always enjoy the stories you write (and try to keep up with all the reviews you do)! Enjoy your day!

    1. Thank you VERY much Ms. Jensen! 😀 😀 😀

  5. Happy Birthday, Erik! 🙂

  6. Happy Birthday, Erik. You are one amazing kid!

    1. Thank you! I appreciate it! 😀

  7. Erik,
    Wishing you a very Happy 12th Birthday! One of my spiritual friends encourages people to celebrate their birthday the day before, the day of, and the day after. And, you’ll be doing so with a lot of friends and family. I hope you have great celebration today with all of us in the writing community! You have a remarkable talent as a writer and reviewer, as well as talents in other areas of your life! I want to know what you’ll be doing 5 -10-15-20 years from now. I know what ever it is, you will do with enthusiasm, kindness and compassion. Have three great days!
    Mrs. Tilton

    1. Thank you Mrs. Tilton! I like the idea of celebrating a lot! 😀 I am happy to know all of you right now and hopefully still in 100 years!

  8. Happy, happy birthday, Erik. You are a brilliant and smashing kid! The best in everything for 2014, also. Big Hugs.

    1. Thank you Dr. Clune! You are an AWESOME and amazing blogger friend! 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Errr—iii–k. Happy Birthday to you!!!!!! You’re an awesome young man. Have a wonderful birthday!!!

    1. Thank you Ms. Secomb! I like the song. 🙂 Have an AWESOME Christmas!

  10. Happy birthday, Erik!
    M-man and T-man helped me write a silly limerick for you:

    There once was a kid who turned twelve.
    Into a thousand books did he delve.
    Through written reviews
    And the spreading of news
    He shares with us books from his, uh, shelve?

    Hope your special day is a super good one!

    1. Thank you, my dear blogging friends!
      I shall remember this ’till my end!
      I wish you well,
      you guys, so swell!
      I’ll see you ’round the 2014 riverbend!
      THANK YOU!!! :mrgreen:

  11. It was my mom’s birthday yesterday, so I am in the party mood! Hoping that whatever you wish when you blow out the candles comes true.

    1. It was my science teacher’s birthday today. 🙂 Thanks Ms. Greenley! 🙂 Happy Birthday to your mom too! 😀

  12. Erik, have the bestest birthday day, EVER!

  13. Erik, if I could spell the sound that party-horn whistly-thingy with the little paper-rolly thing we blow at each others faces at a party…I would.
    I can spell HAPPY. BIRTHdAY however and I hope it’s a great one. So glad you share in thks writing community.

    1. Thank you! Is ‘PWEEEEE’ a good description? Because I’m doing it back at ya! 😀

  14. What a lovely surprise for Erik, Beth. Thanks for reminding us. *throws streamers* Happy Birthday, Erik!

    1. *throws streamers back* Thanks! Streamer fight!!!!!!!! 😉

  15. Happy birthday, Erik! Wishing you all the best in the coming year. You are an amazing young man. I look forward to and enjoy your reviews. Thank you for being such an inspiration to others, both young and old.

  16. Happy Birthday, Erik!

  17. Ru ru ru ru roo roo! Hope you have a barking good birthday! Sending you a special link —
    along with wagging tails and slobby licks
    From your buddy, Rhythm

    1. Thank you Rhythm! The video made my day! 😀

  18. Erik is awesome in so many ways. He’s even published. Not many people his age can claim that. So Happy Birthday to the kid with a golden heart 🙂

    1. Thanks Ms. Brown!!! If I have a golden heart, then you have a diamond heart!!! 😆

  19. Happy 12th Birthday, Erik! I enjoy being in the kidlit community with you.

    1. Thank you Ms. Cho. I enjoy being in the community with you (and everyone else!!!) too. 🙂

  20. I am so happy to be here at your birthday party Erik. How nice of Ms Stilborn to host a party for you and invite all of us. What fun games and the cake is delicious. I’m wishing you a fabulous time and all the best for your 12th year. Enjoy the last year before you become a teenager. I can’t even imagine how many books you will read next year. I also believe in celebrating over an entire week!

    1. Thank you Ms. Foster! I think you’ll like the cake. Well baked. 😉

  21. Happy Birthday Erik. Here’s a little something I pre-recorded… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5smqD83QnQ
    Hope it works.

    1. Thanks Ms. Tulloch, but, the video is “Private” and I can’t watch it. ❓

      1. Sorry Erik, Hope it is working now. Have loads of fun on your special day. Looks like you already are here…. lol. Enjoy!

        1. THANK YOU!!! I love it!!! (and whenever I watch it, it’s Christmas there for you (YAY!) and my birthday over here (WOO-HOO!)!)

  22. […] you didn’t stop over at my virtual birthday party at Ms. Beth Stilborn‘s blog, click HERE to go […]

  23. YIKES! Am I late for the party? OH NO! I hope there is a piece of cake left…or a nibble of cookie. Never fear though, I’ve brought several gallons of ice cream and all the fixings to make ice cream sundaes.:) 🙂 🙂 You can have two because it’s your special day!

    I’m wishing you a most happy birthday, Erik…it’s been a joy getting to know you through your posts, contest submissions and comments on everyone’s blogs.

    1. Late? NOOO!!! There’s a WHOLE cake left, and 5 plates of cookies, too. I’ll have a sundae, please. They look delicious. 🙂 Thanks for coming! 😀

  24. Happy Birthday, Erik! The heading on your blog scared me for a minute there this morning! You are a great inspiration to my elementary school students. Glad to know you. Thanks for the invite to the party. Such Fun! Have a fabulous 12 year old year!

  25. Happy Birthday Erik! 🙂

  26. Happy Birthday, Erik! My daughter is 12 too and an aspiring writer and editor. Love the passion you kids have for books! Power to the Tweens!

  27. Happy Birthday ERIK! Sorry I am late, but it is still your birthday for another twenty minutes, and I hope you have a great final twenty birthday minutes. Chances are you are in bed, dreaming of Christmas morning.

    Three years ago, give or take a month, we met when you commented on my new blog. I believe you were the first. Since that time I have seen you grow in your writing, your maturity, and a little in height. You are becoming one terrific young man. And a pretty good author, now with one book under your belt.

    Twelve-years-old. Seems you were just nine. Thank you for your encouragement, all the comments, and all the laughs. I can count on you to cheer up a review, get a joke, and make me–and others–smile. I wish for you the best of years in 2014 and that you have loads of fun. I also pray you do not grow up too fast and cherish your childhood.

    Happy Birthday my young friend. And Merry Christmas.

  28. Since it’s now officially NOT your birthday any longer, but I see the party’s still going on, this is in honor of you!

  29. Sorry I’m late! Happy Birthday, Erik! Hope being 12 is tons of fun! (And weren’t you just 9? How is is possible that you have aged 3 years when I m the same age as when we met? :)) I come bearing virtual cake, confetti, and an expert tuba player to play the birthday song for you 🙂 Happy Birthday!

  30. How come I’m a day late? I even had it on my calender to come over here and wish YOU a very HAPPY birthday, Erik. So Happy Birthday and wishes for a long life and a published book next year if not an agent.

    I am so glad to know you! <3

  31. Happy Birthday, Erik! You’re a very special kid and I wish you all the best:)

  32. Happy Birthday, Erik! Congrats on being a teenager!!!

  33. Hi Erik … and belated happy birthday! In our house, we actually celebrate a birthday month … something I started after we married 22 years ago because my birthday is on the same day as our wedding anniversary. So technically, YOU are still celebrating … which is a good thing for me because I’m woefully behind with my wishes for peace and plenty. I admire you and wish you continued success in your writing (and life) ventures. Come visit the Corner on Character later today for your official shout out … and be blessed! Barbara

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