Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Birthdays


Beyond Cake and Ice Cream

by (author) Nikki Tate & Dani Tate-Stratton

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2017
Birthdays, General, Customs, Traditions, Anthropology
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Inspired by memories of fantastic family birthday parties, mother-and-daughter team Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton researched the history of birthdays in order to answer such questions as, How much does where you grow up influence the way you celebrate getting a year older? Have people always celebrated birthdays? The more they investigated, the more they realized that there's a lot more to birthdays than cake, presents, a few games and perhaps a goody bag. They discovered there are as many ways to observe birthdays as there are places in which to do it.

About the authors

Nikki Tate was born in Birmingham, England, but spent her childhood roaming the globe. She is the author of nearly 20 books for young readers, many of which are about horses. Nikki has always enjoyed both writing and telling stories, as well as camping, kayaking and horseback riding. She currently hosts a book club called "Teens, Titles and Tate" on CBC Radio's All Points West. Nikki lives with her family (and her collection of goats, ponies, dogs, cats and assorted feathered friends) on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Visit Nikki's website for more information.

Nikki Tate's profile page

Dani Tate-Stratton was born on Salt Spring Island and set off on her first journey when she was just a toddler. After living in Florida, Toronto, Tokyo and Vancouver, she is back in Victoria, British Columbia, where she now works as a graphic designer, writer and editor and also keeps pretty busy with SKOG, a company she and her husband started that makes cool things out of wood. She owns an old Greyhound bus that's slowly becoming a home, and while she waits for the house on wheels to be ready, she travels as much as possible. For more information, visit

Dani Tate-Stratton's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Birthdays: Beyond Cake and Ice Cream is a book that lives up to its title…a volume that will appeal to a range of readers…Written in a style that works for a range of reading levels, from advanced primary-school readers to reluctant secondary-school readers. The colourful photos are eye-catching and support the text…Birthdays is a highly engaging read."

Quill & Quire

“Offers substantive information about the holiday and its celebration...Excellent color photographs and intimate personal anecdotes are highlights.”

The Horn Book Online

"It illuminates so much, so positively, with nuggets of knowledge that many readers love to collect...Birthdays offers a solid resource, and I'd recommend it for classroom and in-school libraries as well as public libraries."

Resource Links

"The authors...occasionally write in first person, giving the informative text a more personal, chummy tone...[C]olorful photos appear on almost every page of this attractive book."


"The co-authors have done a thorough job of researching historical detail about birthday origins and the evolution of traditions. Photos and sidebars serve well to anticipate reader questions or extend the learning beyond what's in the main text...Some lesser known information is of particular interest...Photos are well-chosen, clear and nicely integrated with the text...Birthdays: Beyond Cake and Ice Cream is a valuable addition to the series in which several more titles are planned."

CM Magazine

"As we have come to expect, the book is beautifully designed, well-researched and will appeal to many. It is sure to inspire new ideas for an upcoming party!"

Sal's Fiction Addiction

"The color photos are excellent, and the text is well-researched...a useful book."

Kirkus Reviews

"These personalized anecdotes capture the essence of what makes these celebrations special and piques the interest of the reader."

School Library Connection

Other titles by Nikki Tate

Other titles by Dani Tate-Stratton

Related lists