Happy Book Birthday: NO PARTY POOPERS

No matter how sad we are, it’s important to reassure children that, as Mr. Rogers said, no matter what happens, there will always be helpers. One of the ways we can help kids is to continue reading stories with them…stories that entertain, while passing along an important message. And that’s why I’m really excited to welcome another brand-new book to the world that does just that.



Written by Gretchen McLellan

Illustrated by Lucy Semple

Published by Little Bee Books

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Two bears decide to throw a big party in their neighborhood, but they’re having trouble making the guest list. One bear wants to invite all the neighbors, but his friend thinks it’s a bad idea. He’s worried that they’ll ruin the party–the rhinos will pop the balloons, the goats will chew up the party hats, the crows will hoard all the shiny prizes–in other words, they’ll be party poopers! Can his friend convince him to change his mind in time for the party?

I think there couldn’t be a better time for a book like this. We need stories about INCLUSION, DIVERSITY, and FRIENDSHIP. We need stories about embracing other cultures, races, religions, and creeds. We need: NO PARTY POOPERS!

And here are a few words from the author:

“It is difficult to launch a book during these tumultuous times, but I am glad to add my small voice to the important conversations we are having in our culture today.  No Party Poopers’ message is about examining one’s stereotypes, confronting fears about the other and opening oneself to the joys of diversity and inclusivity. I feel good about the message that is going into the world right now. The book is a good entry point for discussions about racism and xenophobia. A small contribution to the canon of books that entertain, engage and educate. We do what we can. “

And guess what? Author Gretchen has some fantastic crafts for everyone!

paper bag puppets instagram

Paper bag puppets photo

Grizzly Paper Bag Puppet Download

Panda Paper Bag Puppet Download

To connect with Gretchen and to find writing activities, a reader’s theatre, games, and more, you can visit her website:  gretchenmclellan.com. 

Please remember that these days, with most bookstores and libraries still shuttered, our authors and illustrators need us more than ever before…to buy their books, review their books, tell friends about their books, and ask libraries to purchase their books.

Please stay safe and well, dear friends.

27 thoughts on “Happy Book Birthday: NO PARTY POOPERS

    • Thank you, Kaitlyn! Lucy Semple’s bears make me smile every time. If you make the paper bag puppets and try them on, you won’t believe what Panda and Grizz have to say:) The story goes on!


    • Thank you, Diane. I can tell you aren’t a party pooper:) You’re definitely invited to the bears’ party–pawsitively the best ever because you’ll be there!


    • Thanks, Kim! Kids love making paper bag puppets and they are a natural way to extend a book written in dialogue. I have a beaver and otter set to download on my website, too. They accompany I’M DONE!, my picture book about Little Beaver who learns what it means to be done building his first dam. I’ve found that playing around with my puppets is a fun way to generate new story ideas. gretchenmclellan.com


    • I’d love to know what you and your kids think! Check out my other extension games and activities on my website. gretchenmclellan.com


    • Hi Angie,
      You’ve got great taste! I can tell you aren’t a party pooper 🙂 You are definitely invited to the bears’ party–pawsitively the best party ever because its a place where everyone belongs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy book birthday, Gretchen! I love the cute paper bag puppets! This looks like a wonderful book to use for teaching children about inclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pamela. I wanted to tackle stereotyping and found that using animal characters opened up a child-friendly way to start conversations about preconceived notions and their limitations. On my website I have materials to explore stereotyping further and a readers theatre script that kids are invited to co-write. I’m a former teacher and always have classroom extensions in mind. Enjoy!


      • I can certainly relate. I’m a former teacher too. Once a teacher always a teacher. Now I share picture books and activities with my grandchildren. I would love to share your book and activities with them.


  2. Pingback: No Party Poopers Book Birthday featured on Picture Books Help Kids Soar – Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan

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