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).

The Night Before My Birthday book
#3
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.

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!

Click, Clack, Surprise! book
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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?

Who Made this Cake? book
#9
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!

Froggy’s Birthday Wish book
#10
Froggy’s Birthday Wish
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s Froggy’s birthday, but it seems that everyone has forgotten… No one seems to remember that it’s Froggy’s special day. Mom and Dad don’t say a word, and all of his friends are busy elsewhere. Until he gets back home to find everyone waiting to surprise him with a party, complete with a piñata filled with chocolate-covered flies!

Happy Birthday -Psacharopulo book
#11
Happy Birthday -Psacharopulo
Written and illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Little Frog, her pigeon friend, Otto and Octavia, and other animals are preparing a surprise birthday party.

If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party book
#12
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."

Birthday Party Counting book
#13
Birthday Party Counting
Written by Barbara Barbieri McGrath and illustrated by Peggy Tagel
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Looking for a board book that celebrates birthdays? Look no further! Birthday Counting is the perfect choice for baby’s birthday party! This festive board book introduces counting in reverse from six to one, with all the typical trappings of a birthday fete, including cakes, balloons, and presents. This book is part of the First Celebrations series, which also includes Easter Counting, Halloween Colors, Vanlentine’s Shapes, Christmas Colors & Counting, and Thanksgiving Counting! Round out the series with this new fun and colorful book about the most important day of the year — your birthday!

Happy Birthday Davy! book
#14
Happy Birthday Davy!
Written by Brigitte Weninger and illustrated by Eve Tharlet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Davy is counting the days until his birthday. It seems like such a long wait! He is so excited, he can hardly sit still when Father Rabbit tells a story about a lucky little rabbit who had three wishes that all came true. Davy decides that if he had three wishes, he'd wish for someone who would tell him stories whenever he wanted, someone who would teach him new games, and someone who always had plenty of time to spend with him. Davy's birthday finally arrives and with it comes a big surprise present--too big to be wrapped--that makes all of Davy's wishes come true and his birthday the happiest one ever. This new adventure featuring Davy and the Rabbit family shows that love is the best gift of all.

Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#15
Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This gorgeous little gift book from The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the perfect way to say "Happy Birthday!" Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a celebration of everyone's special day. This beautiful book features Eric Carle's bright, colorful artwork of birthday surprises--from presents to balloons, and of course, cake--with The Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance alongside each one. This book is the perfect birthday gift for readers young and old.

Hazel and Twig: the Birthday Fortune book
#16
Hazel and Twig: the Birthday Fortune
Written and illustrated by Brenna Burns Yu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A delightful debut about two sisters with big dreams provides a charming introduction to the doljabi, a Korean first birthday tradition. Twig's first birthday is coming up, and her whole family -- especially her older sister, Hazel -- is eager to see what she will choose at her doljabi. Whatever item Twig chooses will tell her fortune: Will she pick a hammer and grow up to be a builder? Will she pick a lute and grow up to be a musician? Hazel is hoping that Twig will choose the yarn, just like she did when she was Twig's age. When the big day arrives and Twig makes an unexpected choice, will Hazel be able to help figure out what the future might hold for her little sister? Sweet, serious Hazel and the adorable Twig are certain to win the hearts of readers, who will long to enter their cozy woodland world.

Abuela's Birthday book
#17
Abuela's Birthday
Written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Sofia and her cousins are making a piänata for their grandmother's birthday party, but when Bella the cat gets involved chaos ensues.

Bears and a Birthday book
#18
Bears and a Birthday
Written by Shirley Parenteau and illustrated by David Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

In their fourth endearing escapade, four small bears prepare a celebration for Big Brown Bear’s birthday. Mmm, something smells good in the kitchen. Big Brown Bear is curious—what are those little bears up to? Are they making something special? No peeking, Big Brown Bear! Floppy and Fuzzy, Yellow and Calico have a cake to bake and a gift to wrap, then it’s finally time for the birthday surprise. Delightful rhymes and huggable bears are just the right ingredients for a cheerful birthday read-aloud.

Nate the Great and the Missing Birthday Snake book
#19
Nate the Great and the Missing Birthday Snake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

"Join the world’s greatest detective, Nate the Great, as he solves the mystery of his friend’s missing pet snake! Perfect for beginning readers and the Common Core, this long-running chapter book series will encourage children to problem-solve with Nate, using logical thinking to solve mysteries! WILL THIS CASE SLITHER AWAY? Rosamond is having a birthday party for her cousin Lizzy! Nate the Great and his dog, Sludge, are invited. So are Lizzy’s four pet snakes. Nate believes that a good detective knows his limits. Nate does not want to go to a birthday party filled with dangerous, slimy guests. But when one of these “guests” goes missing, Nate and Sludge must face their fears to save the day! "

Cavekid Birthday book
#20
Cavekid Birthday
Written by Cathy Breisacher and illustrated by Roland Garrigue
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Caveboy and Cavegirl are best friends. They even share a birthday. Each wants to get the other something special for the big day so they go shopping at Caveman Collectibles for just the right thing. But neither has money enough to buy a present for the other. So Cavegirl trades her beloved tool collecti on for a box to give to Caveboy to store his rock collection. Likewise, Caveboy trades in his cherished rocks for a box to give to Cavegirl for her tools.

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon book
#21
If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon
Written by Joyce Lapin and illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Blast off to an extraterrestrial birthday celebration where young partygoers get to romp in a low-gravity playground; discover that candles and balloons behave weirdly in the lunar atmosphere; and learn why the "moon angels" they make in the dust will last for millennia. This cool picture book combines fun and facts to explain the science behind each surprise in terms children can easily grasp.

Judy Moody and Friends: Mrs. Moody in the Birthday Jinx book
#22
Judy Moody and Friends: Mrs. Moody in the Birthday Jinx
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Judy’s mom takes the spotlight as the Moody family tries to give her the birthday she would like in a broadly funny episode just right for newly independent readers. Make a wish, Mrs. Moody! Every year on Mom’s birthday, one way or another, something goes wrong-not-right. Maybe Judy’s been in a bad mood. Maybe Stink’s gotten a little carsick. Maybe Dad can’t bake Mom’s favorite carrot cake. But this year is going to be different. This year is going to be perfect. This year, Judy is going to do all she can to make sure Mom gets the happy birthday she deserves. Watch out! The Boss of Birthday (aka Judy) is on the job! Parsnip cake with avocado frosting, anyone?

A Farmer Boy Birthday book
#23
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
#24
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
#25
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.

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