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They Say It's Your Birthday!

Tina Lerno, Librarian, Digital Content Team,
The cast of Tommy Turnabout's Circus onstage at Turnabout Theatre
"You say it's your birthday; It's my birthday too, yeah; They say it's your birthday; We're gonna have a good time; I'm glad it's your birthday; Happy birthday to you"—Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney-Birthday lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Well today is my birthday! Happy Birthday to me, and all the other July birthdays out there. I do tend to claim the entire month of July as my time to celebrate. I know my birthstone, birth flower, Zodiac sign, and Chinese Zodiac sign—Ruby, Larkspur, or Water Lily, Cancer the Crab, and Fire Horse respectfully. I've looked up celebrity birthdays that share the day (Gustav Klimt, Former President Gerald Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge), and many other myriad things connected to it (Bastille Day). What I never expected was planning a Zoom birthday party last year, and what to do as a follow-up post-COVID today.

Disneyland's birthday party
"A year-long celebration of the Magic Kingdom's tenth anniversary in 1965. Here is Disneyland's 10-candle birthday cake in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle with all the famous Disney characters gathered for the celebration." Herald Examiner Collection

What's a librarian to do? Research of course!

Would you be surprised to know we have literally thousands upon thousands of books about birthdays? In addition to books with a birthday theme, we have cake making, horoscope, zodiac, and natal birthday books. You can download or stream birthday songs galore on Freegal and hoopla, or make a playlist of favorites to spin. I dug deeper and found classes you can take in party planning, card making, cake decorating, guitar (or ukelele) lessons, (for singing the Happy Birthday Song), also books about the history of said Happy Birthday Song, and birthday traditions around the world, as if your day wasn't already special enough!

Birthday cake for Central Library
Birthday cake for the first birthday of the newly renovated Central Library, [1994]. Gary Leonard Collection

Now for what to do and where to go now that restrictions have eased? Well, the library can help there too. Our Explore L.A. program is back up and running. You can make reservations up to three months in advance, and we anticipate adding passes to even more attractions over the next few months, so stay tuned!

Planning a trip? We gotcha there too. Research your next great adventure even if it's just a walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles or the beach. There are databases of Maps and Travel to get lost in as well.

a dogs birthday cake
Celebration of a dog's birthday. The dog's name is "Sammy", [1938]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection

There's also plenty to do even if you are not ready to fully venture out. Our Summer Reading Challenge is in full swing, and there's still time to get into the L.A. BioBlitz Challenge. To search our calendar for specific days of online events, go to our Calendar of Events page, and explore your options day by day. You'll find lots of things to do without leaving your room, and a few things you can view online or in-person such as the fantastic Life on a String: The Yale Puppeteers and the Turnabout Theatre exhibit.

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you, [1960]. Photo credit: George Brich, Valley Times Collection

Below is a list of my favorite birthday-themed books and music. Enjoy, and Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Recommendations

The Secret Language of Birthdays
Goldschneider, Gary

Your Hidden Symmetry: How Your Birth Date Reveals the Plan for Your Life
Haner, Jean

The Birthday Cake Book: 75 Recipes for Candle-Worthy Creations
Wilson, Dede

Birthday Cakes: Recipes and Memories From Celebrated Bakers
Kleinman, Kathryn

Big Birthdays: The Party Planner Celebrates Life's Milestones
Tutera, David

Handmade Birthdays: 101 Gift, Cake & Card Ideas for Ages 1 to 101

Piñata Party: 30 Craft Projects for the Ultimate Party Accessory
Palaskas, Kitiya

The Dinner List
Serle, Rebecca

The Dilemma
Paris, B. A.

The Birthday Girl
Fortin, Sue

The Birthday Girl
De la Cruz, Melissa

Russo, Meredith

The Birthday Party of No Return!
Stine, R. L.

11 Birthdays
Mass, Wendy, 1967-

Heidi Heckelbeck Takes the Cake
Coven, Wanda

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-Made Catastrophes
Look, Lenore

Arthur's Birthday
Brown, Marc Tolon

To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays
Stein, Gertrude

A Birthday for Bear
Becker, Bonny

Elmer's Birthday
McKee, David

Don't Wake up the Tiger
Teckentrup, Britta

Carl's Birthday
Day, Alexandra

Froggy's Birthday Wish
London, Jonathan

Little Badger's Just-About Birthday
Bunting, Eve

A Birthday for Frances
Hoban, Russell

Little Gorilla
Bornstein, Ruth

The Birthday Box
Patricelli, Leslie

Altered Images - Happy Birthday
Altered Images

The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good

Happy Birthday To Me
the Muffs

The Birthday Party - Prayers On Fire
The Birthday Party

Sixteen Candles