Andy’s Birthday Surprise

Andy’s Birthday Surprise

By Astaire R. Greenberg, retired librarian, New York.

Andy loved to read. Even when he was a baby, his mother would hold him on her lap and show him picture books. The best part was when his mom or dad tucked him into bed and read to him.

Wherever he went he always took along a book. When he went to his big brother’s baseball game, everyone watched the players. Not Andy! He sat on the benches and looked at his books. Even at barbecues, he would eat his hot dog so quickly, and gulp down his drink, so he could look at his books again.

At the beach, Andy would go into the water for a few minutes, but then, he would hurry back to his blanket to continue reading. It was such an exciting time for Andy because now he was starting to sound out the words by himself!

Everywhere that Andy went, he carried a blue and white backpack. All of his friends put water, a snack, or games in their backpacks. Not Andy! He put in books—lots and lots of books. There were so many books, and his backpack was so heavy, that sometimes he couldn’t even stand up straight! His dad figured out a way to help Andy. Together, they built a little cart. They worked very hard on this and had lots of fun doing this together. It was the perfect size to carry all of his books. They painted the cart blue, and in big white letters, they wrote,“ANDY’S AMAZING BOOKS.” His friends helped him decorate the cart with bright and colorful designs. They all thought it was so cool, which made Andy feel soproud. He and his dad did a great job with the cart.

Mrs. Rivera, his teacher, allowed Andy to leave his cart in the back of the classroom. When the children finished their work, they were allowed to go to see what books were in the cart for that day. There were usually books about space, soccer, animals, children from around the world, and many more. Every storybook interested Andy. He wanted to learn about EVERYTHING!

Saturday was Andy’s favorite day of the week. That was the day that he went to the public library with his parents. His mom asked Alex to empty the cart, so there would be room for all the new books. He couldn’t wait to visit the library to see Mrs. Hamilton, the librarian. She was so friendly and helpful. She always showed him the new books in the children’s section. After filling the cart, he asks his mom, “Can I get a library card today?” To which she replies, “Not yet!” After visiting the library, Andy and his family had pizza for lunch. It was hard for Andy to eat his pizza and look at a book, but that never stopped him from trying. Every morning when Andy woke up, he would ask, “Is today Saturday?” So, his mom and Andy decided to put up a calendar on the wall. Together, they put a red circle around all of the Saturdays in the month. This way, Andy could check the calendar every morning.

Andy asked, “On which Saturday am I going to get my very own library card?” His mother explained that he had to wait until he was five years old. She said, “Andy, we only have four more Saturdays to go.” Andy couldn’t wait to get his own library card! Soon, he would have it, and his name would be in big letters on the top. There were so many books in the children’s section. How was he ever going to finish reading all of them?

Andy’s birthday was almost here. He invited his best friend, Terrell, to his party because they had so much fun together. His mother also sent out invitations to his other friends: Luis, Maria, Jada, Jordan, Shaquille, and Matt.

PLACE: Andy’s House
DATE: Saturday, March 5
TIME: 1:00 P.M.

When Andy woke up on that Saturday morning, he was all excited to have his birthday party. He was now five years old. He helped his mom and dad decorate the family room with colorful streamers, plenty of balloons, and pictures of Andy’s favorite books. When it was almost time for the party, all of his friends came. They played games, had snacks, and ate birthday cake. Imagine, a cake with five candles!

Suddenly mother stood up, clapped her hands, and got all the children to be very quiet. She said, “As you all know, Andy LOVES books. We wanted to do something very special for him, so we invited a surprise guest.”

A woman came through the door, and it was Mrs. Hamilton, the town librarian. Andy was so excited.

Mrs. Hamilton smiled at the children and said, “Boys and Girls, I am so thrilled to be here. I know how much Andy loves books and reading books teach you so much. They are friends to you. Andy hopes that all of you will start coming to the library with him every Saturday. Think of all the fun we will have together.”

She then gave Andy and each of his friends a white envelope that had each one’s name on the front. She said, “Andy, why don’t you open yours first.” Andy jumped up and clapped his hands. He was so excited. He opened the envelope and there was a Library Card! His name was on top in great big Letters. ANDY!

Then all the children ripped their enveloped open and what a surprise: each one had received their very own library card with their names printed on it.


Oh, how happy Andy was! He said, “This is the best birthday gift I have ever had! It’s great to be five! Now I have my very own library card. And the greatest thing is—all my best friends got library cards too. We can all go to the library together every Saturday.”

Mrs. Hamilton said, “And I can read all the wonderful books to all of you, and then you can check out books to bring them home.”

All the children stood up, made a circle around Mrs. Hamilton and Andy, and they all danced around them and shouted, “Hooray for Books! Hooray for Andy.”

—Astaire R. Greenberg, retired librarian, New York. Illustration by Katherine Han, h.s. senior, Texas.