“This book shows you the way to quick, easy and economical birthday parties that are truly fun for everyone. The guidelines and games are invaluable in planning and executing a successful party while staying free of the kids birthday party escalation madness. You can learn how to keep it simple. Best Buddies Birthdays should be an essential part of your parenting library and would be a great gift for new parents.”
— L. Kilty

A Grandma/Daughter Team

Mom and Grandma

Dr. Sarah (Sally) Butzin is a retired educator who has won numerous awards for her teaching and research work. Her book, Joyful Classrooms in an Age of Accountability: The Project CHILD recipe for success, was published in 2005 by Phi Delta Kappa. She is the author of numerous published articles, and developer of the Project CHILD (Changing How Instruction for Learning is Delivered) instructional system which has been used in elementary schools throughout the country. Many of the ideas and activities in this book have been derived from her work as an elementary school teacher, product developer, as well as her experiences as a summer camp program director.   

Dr. Butzin retired in 2011 as the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for School Innovation in Tallahassee, Florida.  She remains active with writing and volunteer work, serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the International Alliance for Invitational Education (www.invitationaleducation.net).


Daughter and Mom

Charlotte Butzin Beal is the Editorial and Marketing Communications Lead at CEB Iconoculture, a consumer insights company that delivers to marketers important shifts in people’s values, desires and behaviors (www.iconoculture.com). She previously served as an editor at Bon Appétit magazine.

Charlotte lives in Burbank, California, with her TV-editor husband Josh Beal and their two children – daughter Sadie (8) and son Tatum (5). Attending multiple modern-day kids’ birthday parties, along with her knowledge about what consumers really want and are ready for, inspired her to write this book with her mom.



Robert (Bob) W. Smith grew up in Miami and has been creative since childhood. He and his three brothers, two sisters and parents shared many artistic talents. Bob has drawn and/or painted images from memory as well as photographs, and loves to take the client’s ideas and bring them to life. This is the second book he has illustrated and he has a third book on the drawing table. His motto is, “You are only limited by your imagination.”

Bob lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Debbie. He worked in the banking industry for almost 30 years, earned a Masters of Social Work degree and now works full time in a local cancer center. He also enjoys playing several musical instruments, gardening, reading and cooking. He and Debbie have two grown children and two small dogs.