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Happy Birthday, Kirsten!: A Springtime Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #4)
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Happy Birthday, Kirsten!: A Springtime Story (American Girls: Kirsten #4)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  3,579 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Exciting new things come to the Larsons' farm in Minnesota in the springtime--incliding a tiny new baby. But changes bring new worries and more work for Kirsten, too. First she is afraid for Mama's health. Then caring for a baby keeps her so busy that her life seems to be nothing but chores. Soon Kirsten doesn't even have time to help with the surprise she and her friends ...more
Paperback, 59 pages
Published by Pleasant Company (first published 1987)
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Becky Keir Grace
Kirsten is getting ready to turn ten years old, and her mother is also about ready to give birth to another baby. The book opens with a tornado passing through. The family hides in the root cellar to wait out the storm. While waiting, Miss Winston tells them the story behind the quilt that she brought into the cellar with them. Everyone pitched together to help make the "Friendship Quilt" for Miss Winston before she left her home to be a teacher on the frontier. This inspires the girls to make a ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Gina added it
Shelves: emmas-books-2016
Finished 2/24/16
I have to say that I always give AG books 5 stars! I can't help it. But out of all of the Kirsten books I've read so far, this is my favorite!
Sep 30, 2016 Xyra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next pleasant installment from Kirsten's book series.

This series touches on the lifestyle of pioneer families in Minnesota. We get a glimpse of joys and hardships and common happenings.

In this installment we are treated to a barn raising, two types of births, and a birthday. We find Kirsten has a big heart for her friends and for small animals.

I think this is a good series for adults as well as younger readers as a reminder that our forebears worked a lot harder than we do today. If mama wa
Not as good as #'s 1 and 3, but still good. Kirsten confronts the very real frontier fear of something happening to her Mama during childbirth, and there is an old-fashioned barn raising in the mix t'boot.

Wasn't too keen on what the "Peek Into the Past" section had to say about midwives, though: "When American girls like Kirsten were growing up, babies were born at home. Doctors and hospitals were scarce on the frontier, so women called midwives helped mothers give birth to their babies."

Jul 20, 2012 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just got done reading a bunch of my old childhood books again. I blitzed through the first four Kirsten books (Meet Kirsten, Kirsten Learns a Lesson, Kirsten's Surprise, and Happy Birthday, Kirsten). I have this thing about re-reading books that I haven't read since I was 10 or younger... in one way, it's fantastic because you can relive those moments when you were first falling in love with characters or, in my case, historical fiction. However, re-reading these books can also be really reall ...more
The hard work young children were expected to perform in the mid nineteenth century boggles the 21st century post-modern imagination. No helicopter parenting, here. Children are expected to listen to and follow adult instruction. They bake. The tend the fire. They sew for the family. Little girls understand very big concepts, like the dangers of giving birth. Kirsten's mother is very pregnant, and Kirsten has to take on many more household responsibilities than she would normally share. And her ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Katrina rated it really liked it
I had an incomplete set of American Girls books that I absolutely LOVED when I was younger. My collection included some of Kirsten's, Molly's, and Samantha's (I looked longingly at Addy and Felicity but never had any of theirs). I recently found three "new" (to me) Kirsten books in one of my favorite local bookstores and immediately snagged them off the shelf.

Happy Birthday, Kirsten! holds up surprisingly well. The story is simple - it's essentially a snapshot in time, weaving historical context
Feb 21, 2011 Bree rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This review is from the perspective of a mother - this is one of my least favorite books in the series. I wish the book would have focused more on childhood illnesses and less on pregnancy mortality. I do like that Kirsten has responsibilities in preparing for the new baby, even if she would prefer to be having more fun sewing pretty things rather than diapers. And Kirsten is very level-headed during the labor. And then the new barn/quilting bee is sort of slapped in at the end. This book just f ...more
Felicity The Magnificent
I liked this book because it was Kirsten's birthday, and her mom was going to have a baby, and her cat, Missy, was going to have kittens. Kirsten had to stay home from school to help get ready for the baby. All the other girls in her class sewed at recess time. When it was her birthday, Kirsten's whole class came for her birthday party. Kirsten did not know the girls were sewing a blanket for her with all their sewing patches. And when the baby came, Kirsten had more work to do. The baby's name ...more
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book there are basically three storylines that occur. The first concerns the family taking cover during a bad story that they are worried could be a tornado.

The second storyline revolves around Kirsten's mother having a baby and how much work Kirsten has to do around the house to help her mother before the baby is born.

The third storyline relates to her birthday which, at least for a while, looked like it might be overlooked with everything else that was going on.

The historical section
Mar 28, 2011 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one is by far our favorite Kirsten book. I loved the relationship between Kirsten and her Mama. Mama seemed like a pretty stern Swedish lady in the previous books, but in this book she softens up and does some really endearing things for Kirsten's birthday. Abby loved the friendship quilt that Kirsten's friends made for her and the dance on the night of the barn raising. We also liked that even though a new baby was born in Kirsten's family--and she had to help out with the extra chores--Ma ...more
Dec 04, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
It was nice to see the reality portrayed in this story about how much different many girls' lives were in this time period, when Kirsten's mother has a baby and needs her more at home (being the oldest in a big family myself). It especially helps to show how difficult education was when there were so many other things that had to be done at home, and how sometimes the only way to get one was to fight hard for it. In the end, Kirsten is reminded that she is still remembered at school, and that he ...more
Another adventure from Kirsten, a young pioneer girl dealing with the struggles of life in 1854. Her mamma is expecting a baby soon. After over hearing many school friends talk about women they knew that had either lost the baby during child birth or lost their own life, Kirsten is fearful about the pending birth. Another great way to read and discuss with your children about the differences between then and now and many of the modern conveniences and advancements in technology and medicine that ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Marya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-series
In Happy Birthday, Kirsten, Mama is pregnant and Kirsten is worried Mama will forget her birthday. That is not the case, in this overly happy book. Sure, they mention the possibility that Mama could die in childbirth, and Kirsten is understandably upset by this, but it is only briefly mentioned. I didn't have to discuss it in detail with the 4 year old I was reading the book aloud to. Given that the 4 year old is a girl, it's probably for the best anyway.
Jul 15, 2014 Miri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Springtime is here and so is Kirsten's birthday, but Kirsten isn't sure she'll get any celebration this year, mama is pregnant and Kirsten must stay home from school to help her with the housework. Kirsten misses her friends and she's missing the time they quilt together, but mama hasn't forgotten Kirsten and when the family has a barn raising Kirsten is surprised with a special party all her own!
Oct 16, 2011 Tanya rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, i-own-it
Madeline and I just finished this Kirsten adventure, which taught us how little girls had to do so much work to help their families. Maddie was amazed that Kirsten had to miss school to do all the cooking and cleaning for the family when her mom was having a difficult pregnancy. I love exposing my daughter to the way things used to be, because it makes her appreciate the way life is now.
May 01, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-by-myself
Kirsten and her friends were making a quilt. One day Ma was having a baby so Kirsten had to get ready. She did not have enough time to play or make the quilt. Then Ma said, "Go play, it almost is your birthday." So Kirsten went and sewed the quilt. She had a great time. Then she got the quilt for her birthday.
This book really shows how responsible young people were in this era. Many children never had the free time that children today have. I couldn't imagine my three year old all ready helping with chores around the house like child of this era did.
Jun 16, 2012 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I read this in 4th-6th grade & liked it, but I barely remember it compared to the other Kirsten books. Looking at the book cover, I think it was the one w/ the quilting circle & barn-raising party...
Mary Bronson
Dec 28, 2013 Mary Bronson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. I thought Kirsten is growing as a character and a girl. She may be only 10, but she is a hard worker and a great daughter. She deserved to have a Happy Birthday at the end of the book.
Nov 11, 2009 Marisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read with your daughter. I like the historical information these books include. Lots to talk about from immigration to 19th century lifestyle to friends and fears and geography. My daughter and I are enjoying them.
Jan 28, 2010 Wendy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-with-eliza
I didn't like this as well as the other, I had to edit one chapter that discussed mothers dying which I didn't want to depress Eliza with. But it talked about quilts, and Eliza is now really excited to get a new quilt from her Grandma.
Halle Stout
Out of all the AG books, Kirsten books have not always been my favorite due to the fact that most of the time, I cannot relate to them and they are generally not interesting to me. This book was no different, it had some good moments but for the most part it was boring.
Dec 13, 2013 Smorrow98 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was full of surprises, love, care, and joy. Kirsten's mother was pregnant with a baby girl. Although that was wonderful news it was hard around the house. Kirsten the work of two ladies. It wasn't always fun but at the end she has a wonderful Birthday Party at the barn raising!
Miss Clark
Read late 1990's
Jul 29, 2011 Rivkah. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My sister loved this book. She always wanted a quilt after she loved it, although I'm the one who turned out to be the quilter...

Nov 12, 2015 MJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alissa loved the kittens.
Nov 27, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: my grandparents
I love this series. In this book about Kirsten and her family there are a lot of touching moments with friends and family. Also, there is a new addition for the Larsons'.
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  • Happy Birthday, Felicity! A Springtime Story (American Girls: Felicity, #4)
  • Changes for Addy: A Winter Story (American Girls: Addy, #6)
  • Samantha's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Samantha, #3)

Other Books in the Series

American Girls: Kirsten (6 books)
  • Meet Kirsten: An American Girl (American Girls: Kirsten, #1)
  • Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #2)
  • Kirsten's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #3)
  • Kirsten Saves the Day: A Summer Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #5)
  • Changes for Kirsten: A Winter Story (American Girls: Kirsten, #6)

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