Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy Birthday, Kate McMullan - January 16

Happy Birthday, Kate McMullan - January 16

Every year since 2010 our family has baked and decorated a cake for Kate McMullan's birthday.

Why is this so important to our family?

Well, most of all we love Kate McMullan's I'm...! book series which includes the beloved books I'm Brave, I'm Dirty, I'm Mighty and more. Over the years we have watched this series grow to seven books about vehicles, two about dinosaurs, and The Stinky and Dirty Show available on Amazon Prime now in its second season.

Secondly, we recognize Kate's birthday in 2010 as the beginning of our adventure celebrating over 325 author and illustrator birthdays. Celebrating author and illustrator birthdays as a family has built a strong foundation of reading in our home. There are always new books to read, new authors and illustrators to discover, and a reason each year to revisit our favorite picture books. The activities and experiences we feature on our blog create excitement beyond the book and we hope it inspires your family to read together.

Reading and sharing our love of books is now a vital part of family's identity.

You may have noticed, if you are long-time reader, that our birthday celebrations are getting less frequent. This is not a surprise to me. My children are getting older, they are involved in more and more school and extracurricular activities, and even I have started working for the first time in twelve years! There is not as much free time as there once was just a few years ago and the free time we do have is different in that there are many more options on how to spend it.

So, I guess there is a third reason why this birthday celebration for Kate McMullan is so important to our family. It brings us together no matter what. This year we found a way to bake and decorate the cake in between social engagements, basketball games, robotics competitions, play dates, and school. This activity reminds me of all activities and experiences we have had together over the years and that my kids really have enjoyed every single one of them.

9 cakes! Wow!
Before we started baking the cake my youngest son enjoyed looking at the cakes we made in the past.

My kids get more excited each year to bake and decorate this cake and this year we had a new book from the series to read too! Kate and Jim McMullan's latest book is I'm Smart. In this picture book, a school bus safely transports a group of children to school. The school bus is "smarter than a rocket scientist, more powerful than a monster truck, and able to halt traffic with a flick of a switch."

I'm Smart is a great book! My kids enjoyed it almost as much as their all-time favorite, I Stink
I just got out of their way as they got to work.
My only job was to take pictures and to make sure everyone had an equal chance to help.
Two SMART kids!
He is always willing to help his little sister.
If he had it his way he would have baked this whole cake by himself. I give him a lot of credit for working so well with his brother and sisters.
My youngest son sketched out a design for the cake.
Everyone looks calm in this photo, but soon there would be a lot of arguing about how the cake should be decorated. Each of them had their own idea. They learned that working together can be hard!
Everyone agreed on a design and the boys planned out their cake design. Immediately there was some nervousness that the cake wasn't going to meet their expectations. 
My youngest said, "This cake looks horrible." Even I was worried at this point. I wondered if they were going to be able to pull themselves together to complete the cake.
They were determined and by adding just adding a few details there was hope.
And things started to look up.
"We can use red M and Ms for the lights."
The cake started to look more and more like a bus with each line of icing.
And everyone's smile was back!
Our 9th birthday cake for Kate McMullan!
This young man loves to make these cakes!
Big sis was worried he was going to tip the cake too far like in 2015 when the I'm Brave cake took a tumble.
Good work, kids! It is hard to work together sometimes. You should be very proud of your cake!
Happy Birthday, Kate McMullan. We hope you have another fabulous birthday!
Thank you for making such fun books for us to enjoy as a family!

GREAT NEWS! There will be another book in the I'm... series! Be on the lookout for I'm Tough in the fall of 2018! (Click here to visit Kate's website to read more about the book!)

From HarperCollins website:
I'm not the BIGGEST TRUCK in the parking lot...
but when my cargo bed's PACKED and STACKED!
I've got what it takes to HAUL it ALL!
You can count on me -- I'll get the job done!
'Cause guess what -- I'm Tough!

Links:
2. Follow Kate McMullan on Twitter
3. Other Happy Birthday Kate McMullan Posts - Happy Birthday Author
5. Text Interview - Library Media Connection (2012)
6. Audio Interview - Just One More Book (2007)
7. Just One More Book (2006) Podcast about Nutcracker Noel by Kate and Jim McMullan
10. I'm Fast Book Trailer  -YouTube
11. Buy Kate McMullan Merchandise - CafePress
12. Kate and Jim McMullan at SouthHampton Arts 2013 - YouTube
13. Stinky and Dirty TV show - Amazon
14. I'm Brave Trailer - YouTube
15. Behind the Scenes at the Stinky and Dirty Show - Animation World Network

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