Best Children's Books About Birthdays

The Best Children's Books to Celebrate Birthdays

Updated Jan. 19, 2019

Birthdays are such a fun time with children. They can be celebrated in many different ways. It is especially fun to see the light in their eyes when they know how special they are. This list of books can help you make your child's special day the best it can be!

The Best Birthday Present Ever book
#1
The Best Birthday Present Ever
Written and illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Squirrel is super excited: he’s been invited to Big Bear’s birthday party! Now he just has to find the perfect present for his friend—but what can you give a bear who already has EVERYTHING? Squirrel searches and searches and chooses . . . a stick! As Bear unwraps his stack of gifts Squirrel begins to worry: is it enough? But with a little imagination, and a good friend, even the simplest stick can become magical. This funny, heartwarming story of friendship is a great gift—and not just for bears!

Happy Birthday, Cupcake! book
#2
Happy Birthday, Cupcake!
Written and illustrated by Terry Border
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From the creator of Peanut Butter & Cupcake comes a birthday book starring everyone’s favorite dessert! What’s a cupcake to do when she needs to plan her birthday party? In this hilarious, kid-friendly homage to food and birthdays, Cupcake runs through tons of ideas while her best friend, Blueberry Muffin, finds reasons why they won’t work: Soup gets seasick; Donut melts in the sun; someome might get squashed during musical chairs; and Cupcake is not very good at limbo (her icing might get sliced off!). Just as Cupcake is ready to crumble, Blueberry Muffin has one last idea that just might save the day. With laugh-out-loud visual gags (like a band made up of beans–the musical fruit, of course), this book is sure to put a birthday smile on any kid’s face (and on adult faces as well).

If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party book
#3
If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party
Written and illustrated by Jill Esbaum
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

You never know what will happen when a "T. Rex" crashes your birthday party. Sure, you'll be super excited when he turns up. But then he ll stomp. He ll ROAR. He ll wonder how you taste with a little mustard. In the end, though, you may find yourself asking him to come back next year! This delightfully whimsical picture book has a fun twist kids will love."

Happy Birthday, Little Pookie book
#4
Happy Birthday, Little Pookie
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This fun birthday book perfectly captures the excitement of a child on their birthday--waking up early, getting surprises, and having fun activities!

Wake up and celebrate Little Pookie’s big day in this way-too-early board book from the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton. Is that you, little Pookie? It’s not even light. You ought to be sleeping. Look outside. It’s still night. But it’s my birthday! Birthday! Birthday! Pookie can’t wait to celebrate! There’s only one problem: It’s still nighttime and everyone is asleep. With Sandra Boynton’s signature charm and piggy pizzazz, this surprising (yawn) story proves that every Little Pookie loves birthdays…even before daybreak!

The Night Before My Birthday book
#5
The Night Before My Birthday
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is a cute spin on The Night Before Christmas story. It has great rhyming and is a fun one for birthday time!

In rhyming text based on "The Night Before Christmas," a child is filled with excitement and anticipation while helping with preparations for the next day's birthday party, and even an ice cream emergency cannot spoil the day.

Click, Clack, Surprise! book
#6
Click, Clack, Surprise!
Written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Cronin and Lewin's cute farmyard animals return! While this is a birthday book (and you can see the party preparations throughout—killer cake Farmer Brown!), it's also a "getting ready" book, showing all of the different preparations the animals take to look the best for the party, and the hilarious and somewhat disastrous results when one tries to follow all of the grooming techniques demonstrated! The expressive illustrations are my favorite part.

Little Duck learns how to celebrate his birthday with a little help from all the other animals on the farm in this charming picture book from the award-winning duo, Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. Happy first birthday, Little Duck! Everyone wants to look their best for the party. But Little Duck has never had a birthday before—so how better to learn how to prepare than to do what all the other animals do! The sheep trim their wool—so Little Duck trims her feathers. The pigs need a mud bath—so Little Duck quish and quashes, too. All over the barnyard Little Duck snips, slurps, squishes, and shimmy shakes herself ready until...WHOOPS! It’s party picture time—and Little Duck is a big mess. No matter—it’s not something Farmer Brown’s frosted maple cake can’t fix!

Bernice Gets Carried Away book
#7
Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written and illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Having missed out on the other treats at a friend's birthday party, a grumpy cat grabs all of the balloons and floats into the sky, where she sees that her problems are not so big, after all.

Birthday Monsters! book
#8
Birthday Monsters!
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book about the silly birthday monsters is cute and funny, but it wasn't my favorite. I liked that bit of humor and that the monsters came to clean up and leave a surprise at the end, but it mostly made me sad that they ruined the child's birthday.

You hear your door come crashing down—those birthday monsters are in town! And they're going to wreak havoc in the most extraordinarily rude ways. What fun! From Boynton on Board, the more-than-20-million-copy-bestselling series of extra-big, extra-fat, and extra-fun board books, here is BIRTHDAY MONSTERS. Featuring Sandra Boynton's lively rhyming text and inimitable illustrations, this story about a madcap crew of lovable party crashers will appeal to kids and adults alike.

A Wolf's Tale book
#9
A Wolf's Tale
Written and illustrated by Eva Montanari
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

We all know the story of the Big Bad Wolf and the three little pigs ... or do we?

Where's Spot? book
#10
Where's Spot?
Written and illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The bestselling puppy is better than ever. Spot’s 25th birthday presents are bold, beautiful color covers that give him a great new look. Enjoy Spot in paperback with full-color covers and traditional Lift-the-Flap features. Have more fun with Spot!

The Giant Hug book
#11
The Giant Hug
Written by Sandra Horning and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How do you give your granny a hug when she lives far away? Send it through the mail, of course! Owen’s hug travels across the country in a series of hilarious, sometimes awkward, always heartfelt embraces between animals of different shapes and sizes. Valeri Gorbachev’s adorable artwork pairs beautifully with Sandra Horning’s charming text, and makes for a fun, funny, and educational read-aloud. An unexpected twist at the end will delight readers and have kids asking for this book again and again.

Wakey, Wakey, Elephant! book
#12
Wakey, Wakey, Elephant!
Written by Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrated by Michael Robertson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A tickly feather. Roosters crowing. Even a marching band. Will ANYTHING wake Elephant? How do you make a snoozing, sleepyhead Elephant get up? Edgar tries everything, from putting a silly hat on Elephant's head to dancing a cha-cha on the bed. Nothing works . . . until Edgar whispers something very special in his friend's ear. SURPRISE! It's Elephant's birthday--and he's ready to party. Lively, silly, and full of fun, this picture book is a joyful celebration.

A Birthday for Cow! book
#13
A Birthday for Cow!
Written and illustrated by Jan Thomas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Pig and Mouse are hard at work baking the best birthday cake EVER for Cow. But it would be a lot easier if Duck wasn’t hanging around, yammering on about turnips or some nonsense. (Sheesh!) With all this silliness going on, how will they manage to throw Cow a spectacular birthday party? Well, as it turns out, crazy Duck just might have had the right idea all along! Featuring wacky humor, rowdy repetitions, irreverent dialogue, and a hilarious twist at the end, this book is now available in an accessible reader-size format and is sure to have young readers laughing out loud!

Monster Needs a Party book
#14
Monster Needs a Party
Written by Paul Czajak and illustrated by Wendy Grieb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Disappointed when none of his friends can attend his pirate birthday, Monster cheers up when he goes to a pirate theme park, instead.

The Berenstain Bears and the Forgiving Tree book
#15
The Berenstain Bears and the Forgiving Tree
Written by Jan Berenstain and illustrated by Mike Berenstain, Jan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Cousin Fred accidentally damages Brother's brand-new bike,Brother Bear is angry. Can Sister Bear help him see that forgiving hisfriend is the right thing to do?

Skippyjon Jones book
#16
Skippyjon Jones
Written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Holy guacamole! Skippyjon Jones is 10 years old! He’s fearless, he’s fun, he’s a hero to all! Enjoy a special edition of the book that launched a thousand Chimichangoes with a note from author Judy Schachner about how the character came into being. There’s a photo of the real Skippyjon Jones, and even a reversible jacket with El Skippito in his mask-ito on the other side. So hold on to your mice and beans – this book is the fiesta you’ve been waiting for!

Who Made this Cake? book
#17
Who Made this Cake?
Written by Chihiro Nakagawa and illustrated by Junji Koyose
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Little people use BIG machines to make a GIANT birthday cake! Imagine an industrialized Lilliput. Imagine today. Imagine an enormous construction site. Imagine a birthday cake like no other. What if the people you order your next birthday cake from are tiny, and what if they build cakes the way we build buildings? Tractor-trailers and giant cranes, catwalks, and helicopters. Hundreds of workers. Never have you seen such a construction site in this Horn Book Fanfare Award winner!

A Farmer Boy Birthday book
#18
A Farmer Boy Birthday
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and illustrated by Jody Wheeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Long, long ago, a little boy named Almanzo Wilder lived on a farm in the New York countryside with his father, his mother, his big brother, Royal, and his big sisters, Eliza Jane and Alice. One special day is Almanzo's birthday. He gets to stay home from school, and even better, Father gives him a yoke for his calves, Star and Bright, and a beautiful hand-sled. Almanzo spends the morning learning how to break the calves, and then he spends the afternoon flying down the hill in his brand-new sled. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers. Now for the first time, the youngest readers can share Almanzo's adventures on the farm in these very special picture books adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved storybooks. Jody Wheeler's warm paintings, inspired by Garth Williams' classic Little House illustrations, bring Almanzo and his family lovingly to life.

Patrick Griffin's First Birthday on Ith book
#19
Patrick Griffin's First Birthday on Ith
Written by Ned Rust
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The second book in an absurdly funny, middle-grade action-adventure series about a boy's quest to prevent a parallel world from taking over Earth. “Part Narnia, part Home Alone. It wouldn't have shocked me to learn the book had been written by some guy named Lemony Vonnegut.” —James Patterson, New York Times-bestselling author, on Patrick Griffin's Last Breakfast on Earth After learning Earth is about to be destroyed, 12-year-old Patrick Griffin is on a mission. Under the protection of a powerful griffin, Patrick and his friend Oma travel through abandoned cities on the planet Ith, hiding from the enemy while they work out a plan to overthrow the alternate world's sinister government. Back on Earth, the gigantic jackalope Mr. BunBun and nine adorable numbats race to warn humans about impending doom. But time is running out. The evil Rex Abraham is back on Ith and will stop at nothing to continue his domination of the Three Worlds. Breathtaking suspense, elements of science fiction and fantasy, and surprising twists come together in Ned Rust's Patrick Griffin's First Birthday on Ith, the second book of the page-turning Patrick Griffin and the Three Worlds trilogy. Praise for Patrick Griffin's Last Breakfast on Earth: “There is plenty of comedy along the way, mostly focused around puns or interplanetary misunderstandings. Under the jokey exterior, though, there’s some deep stuff about the way we allow ourselves to be controlled by technology, so the book offers more than just laughs for the perceptive reader.” —The Bulletin “Clever—and utterly bonkers.” —Kirkus Reviews “Imaginative.” —School Library Journal “A terrific read, magic really, an adolescent book for adults, an adult book for adolescents, a funny, wise, enthralling romp from fist page to last . . . So much better than Harry Potter” —Peter Quinn, Author of Hour of the Cat Titles in the Patrick Griffin and the Three Worlds trilogy: Patrick Griffin's Last Breakfast on Earth Patrick Griffin's First Birthday on Ith Patrick Griffin's Deadliest Day Ever

The Birthday Cake book
#20
The Birthday Cake
Written and illustrated by Sven Nordqvist
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Despite many difficulties, Farmer Pettson is determined to celebrate his cat's birthday by baking a pancake birthday cake.

The Night Before My Birthday book
#21
The Night Before My Birthday
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The Night Before My Birthday captures all the excitement and anticipation that every child experiences in the lead-up to their special day. The decorations are up, the table is set, and the food is ready – but what happens when there is an ice cream emergency? Once again Natasha Wing has written a story that is sure to appeal to every child getting ready for a birthday. The book is told by and seen through the eyes of the birthday child, so it is gender neutral and a fun gift for any birthday girl or boy.

Happy Birthday! book
#22
Happy Birthday!
Written and illustrated by Sesame Workshop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Celebrate a beloved child's birthday with this wonderful guest book from Sesame Street! All the Sesame friends are here to say something very special. With additional space for party guests to sign their name or write a message, families will cherish this keepsake of a memorable day for years to come! Today's your birthday, shout HOORAY! It's your special day today! Shout it high and shout it low. Shout to everyone you know!

My First Birthday book
#23
My First Birthday
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

This cheerful collection of colorful images and simple words provides the perfect introduction to the fun and festive symbols of a birthday celebration. Included are words such as candle, cake, gift, and balloon. The little size and sturdy pages make this sweet book perfect for little hands.

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish book
#24
Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish
Written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A joyful picture book that celebrates every kid's favorite day of the year, full of adorable art from the illustrator of Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site and I Wish You More. The most important rule is #1: It must be your birthday. After that's been established, a crew of hilarious animals help picture book pros Tom Lichtenheld and Beth Ferry take readers through a joyous romp that covers the most important elements of every year's most essential holiday, including singing; closing your eyes and making a wish; blowing out candles on a cake, then settling into bed and dreaming of your wish coming true.

Happy Birthday to You! book
#25
Happy Birthday to You!
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Nicola Slater
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A group of musicians is traveling to a caf� for a surprise celebration. Press the buttons to hear them play their instruments . . . and join in with the whole band at the end to wish one little otter a very happy birthday! With a flute, guitar, violin, and piano, plus a rousing "big band" chorus and a splendid light-up birthday cake, this delightful little book makes the perfect birthday gift.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.