Happy Birthday and a Giveaway!

Here at The Mailbox Blog we routinely celebrate the first Friday of the month with a giveaway. However this First Friday Giveaway is extra special! You see today, December 1, is Jan Brett’s birthday, one of my favorite authors and illustrators of children’s books. If you follow us on Instagram (themailbox) you already know that Jan graciously invited myself, my fellow blogger and pal Karen, and Phillip who is the publisher of Learning Magazine, aboard her spiffy mermaid tour bus for a sit down chat. I will tell you two things I learned about Jan. (I could go on and on and on about this wonderfully talented lady!)

First off, Jan truly gets kids and the way they think. She recognizes that children are both intelligent and creative with their thoughts. She understands that children have no boundaries for their thoughts and imaginations. In Jan’s words, “When I’m doing my books I like to remember that six-year-old self…. I can have that adventure all over again, that sense of discovery.”

Secondly, when asked if writing and illustrating was easier for her now that she has more than 40 published books, Jan responded, “No!” She explained that it generally takes a year to complete a book and as her deadline  draws nears “It’s madness. I go into lockdown. It gets very intense.” When asked if there is jubilation when she completes a book, Jan surprised us all by revealing that she usually believes, “This is the worst book I’ve ever done.” Then after a year or two she decides she likes the book, but fears “I’ll never be able to do a book like that again.” Silly, silly Jan.

In celebration of Jan Brett’s birthday and her amazing books, this month’s First Friday Giveaway will have two winners.

To enter for a chance to win an autographed Jan Brett book,

simply leave Jan a birthday wish right here on the blog

before midnight, December 10, 2017.  

Happy birthday, Jan! I sure hope you’re working on a new book!


PS: Just heard about a neat opportunity. It’s called the Follett Challenge, and schools can win a whole bunch of stuff. Get the scoop HERE.

Congratulations to Linda and Julie, the winners of this month’s First Friday Giveaway!


236 thoughts on “Happy Birthday and a Giveaway!

  1. Happy Birthday, Jan. My students love your books, they get so much out of them- the students have vocabulary and phonics lessons with your books. My students are the struggling and ELL students. Thank you for writing such a wide variety of books.

  2. Happy, Happy Birthday Jan Brett. I saw you last year in Seward, NE and you were AMAZING! Wish you were close enough this year to see you again!
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your books!
    Your borders are amazing!

  3. Happy Birthday, Jan! I absolutely LOVE your books. My kids are always so engaged in the books when I read them. I can’t wait to read the new book.

  4. Hauoli La Hanau from Hawaii, jan Brett! Wishing you (and the mermaid bus) could visit Hawaii. There are 50 (soon 51!) public libraries and more than 200 schools in the only statewide Department of Education in the nation! Think of all the parents, teachers and librarians who grew up with your books and are sharing their love of Hedgie, Berlioz, and Daisy with their keiki (children). Mahalo for sharing your stories and art with us.

  5. Happy Birthday, Jan, may you have many, many, many more birthdays to celebrate with all your loved ones. Enjoy your day, and looking forward to your next book!

  6. Happy Birthday,Jan. Along with my students,I too enjoy reading your books over and over again. May your special day be full of blessings,love, fun and peace.

  7. Happiest of birthdays to my favorite author of all. It is such a joy to share the wonderful world of Jan Brett through your books and web resources with my first and second graders. Thank you for sharing your gifts with so many. May you be blessed with many more wonderful years.

  8. Happy Birthday, Jan. We’ve loved your books for a long time. Our first favorite was The Mitten. It’s been love since!

  9. Happy, Happy Birthday! ????I absolutely love your ???? books. Looking forward to reading many more of your books in the future. Thanks!!

  10. Happy Birthday Jan! Every year I look forward to incorporating as many of your books as I can into our Second Grade Reading and Writing lesson plans. The students are so motivated by the stories and all of my budding artists LOVE seeing the illustrations. I have to say, a favorite character of theirs is the Tomten from Hedgie’s Surprise …. they just think he is hilarious! Thanks so much for all of the great children’s books you’ve written and illustrated.

  11. Here’s wishing you a Mer-tastic Birthday ????????????????????
    And thank you for such wonderful books, that share the magic of reading with children ⭐️

  12. Happy Birthday! I have your books in my preschool classrooms for many years now! Keep sharing your gift and inspiring the imaginations of children and teachers everywhere!

  13. Happy Birthday, Jan!! You are one of my most favorite children’s author/illustrators. I read your books to my 2nd graders and use at as an example of an author who uses colorful words when teaching them about revising their own writing! Thank you!

  14. Happy Birthday Jan Brett! All of your books are amazing, my class and myself love reading them. We like trying to find the hidden hedgi as well.

  15. Happy birthday Jan! I am a December birthday as well! Not only do my students love your books, I do too! Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us!

  16. Happy Birthday Jan! I absolutely love readibg your books to my 1st graders! And there’s generally a debate as to which book to read. ☺

  17. Happy birthday, Jan! May God bless you with lots of fun and giggles this next year. God made you special and He loves you very much.

  18. Happy birthday, Jan Brett! Thank you for your wonderful books
    that have touched the lives of countless children!

  19. Happy Birthday! My class is studying you as our author of the month for December. They are so excited to read your books!

  20. Happy Birthday Jan Brett!! ????????????????My class will study your books and illustrations in the new year!! You are our Author Study for the month of January!!???? We would love to expand our collection!

  21. Happiest of birthdays to an amazingly talented woman who has brought so many smiles and wonderful moments into so many homes!

  22. Happy birthday Jan. Thank you for filling my first grade classroom with wonder and imagination as I read your books to my class. And as my first graders choose to read your books during free reading time!
    Nancy Frantz

  23. I love, love Jan Brett! Wishing her a wonderful, fantabulous birthday! I, too, am a December birthday but on the other end; the 30th. Keep doing what you do!

  24. Happy Birthday Jan. I had the opportunity to see your presentation on Thurs. Nov. 30, at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville SC. It was wonderful and inspiring. Thank you and I wish you many more birthdays..

  25. Happy Birthday, Jan! Your books have been some of my childhood favorites! My daughter Lillian is celebrating her first Christmas this year and I cannot wait to share your books with her!

  26. Happy Birthday Ms. Brett!! Thank you for continuing to write fabulous books for my classroom library! My students and I love your books. I cannot wait to read the next adventure!!

  27. Happy Birthday Jan! I hope you had a wonderful day:) I absolutely love your books and so do the kids in my Pre-K class!

  28. Happy birthday, Jan Brett! Thank you for creating beautiful books for me to share and teach with in my classroom and at home!

  29. Happy birthday to a wonderful author! I have enjoyed reading your books to my own children and students for years. Thank you for your fun, imaginative stories!

  30. Happy Birthday Jan. I love your books and so do my grandchildren! Now I am sharing them with other young children that visit!

  31. Happy Birthday Jan! We are doing an author study this week on you, and I am excited to go to school tomorrow and tell them it’s your birthday!

  32. Happy Birthday!!!!!!????????????I hope your year is full of joy, laughter, and love!! Thank you for our enjoyment of your wonderful books!!!

  33. Happy birthday, Jan! Going to use “Who’s that Knocking on Christmas Eve?” next week with my 2nd graders. Love your work!

  34. Happy Birthday! Your books were my absolute favorite as a child, and I cannot wait to share them with my own students now as a new teacher.

  35. ???? Happy ???? Birthday ????to you.???? Love your books and beautiful illustrations. I love sharing the stories with my students who have special needs. The Illustrations hold their attention and they love to verbalize what they see.

  36. Happy Birthday, Jan! Your books have been treasures of mine as a young girl and continue to be as I share them with my first grade students. I always look forward to new books by you to add to my collection. Blessings!

  37. Happy birthday, Jan Brett! Love your books! Our class especially likes reenacting the mitten as we read along. We get a large blanket and they all pretend that it’s a mitten and snuggle in, one at a time, underneath. Thank you for all your wonderful work!

  38. Happy Birthday, Jan!! My 4th graders are enjoying a few of your books this month. We have a ’12 Books of Christmas’ book report for December.

  39. In my classroom, we used to sing a “Happy birthday Mix Up”. We have the words on individual cards and the birthday child mixes them up and we sing, for example…birthday happy you to ~ you to to birthday…….. Birthday happy Jan Brett!????

  40. In my classroom, we used to sing a “Happy birthday Mix Up”. We have the words on individual cards and the birthday child mixes them up and we sing, for example…birthday happy you to ~ you to to birthday…….. Birthday happy Jan Brett!????

  41. Happy Birthday Jan! December babies are the best, my birthday was yesterday. Love using your books in the classroom, the illustrations are beautiful.

  42. Jan Brett, Happy Birthday! Your books have filled my childhood with many wonderful memories.

    One that comes to mind, my mother took us on a road trip to see you years ago. I don’t remember the year, or where it was. I do remember it was quite a trip. I read Fritz and the Beautiful Horses about a million times. I also ate so many chicken nuggets on the way there, that I didn’t eat chicken for years. Fritz is still my favorite!

    I can’t imagine how many people you have brought happiness to through your books. Thank you and best wishes.

  43. Happy birthday to you! Thank you for writing such amazing books and being an inspiration to us all! My students just love your books!

  44. Happy Birthday Jan Brett. I enjoy reading all of your books to my kindergarten class. My favorite is “The Hat”. We just read “The Mermaid”

  45. Happy Birthday Jan and thank you for sharing your wonderful talent with children and those of us who are children at heart!❤️

  46. Happy birthday Jan! Thank you for creating such memorable books for me students and my own children to cherish for years and years!

Leave a Reply to Martha Armas Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *