Best Kids 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.

Click, Clack, Surprise! book
#4
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
#5
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.

Who Made this Cake? book
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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.

Happy Birthday Davy! book
#9
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
#10
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
#11
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
#12
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
#13
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.

Cavekid Birthday book
#14
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
#15
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.

A Farmer Boy Birthday book
#16
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.

The Birthday Cake book
#17
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
#18
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.

Judy Moody and Friends: Mrs. Moody in the Birthday Jinx book
#19
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 Birthday for Cow! book
#20
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!

Happy Birthday! book
#21
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!

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish book
#22
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.

Much Too Much Birthday book
#23
Much Too Much Birthday
Written and illustrated by J E Morris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Maud the koala can’t wait for her birthday party–until everything starts to feel way too overwhelming. Maud is having a birthday party in her backyard, and she’s invited her friends–all fifty-six of them–to celebrate with her. She’s not worried, though. After all, you can never have too much birthday! But when the guests arrive and the party gets packed, she isn’t so sure. What will happen if Maud can’t bear her own birthday?

My Lucky Birthday book
#24
My Lucky Birthday
Written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A hilarious trickster tale companion to the story time hit My Lucky Day. Just as Alligator Al is planning the perfect birthday dinner for himself, there is a knock on his door. It’s a delicious-looking piglet—how lucky! But as Al prepares his feast, the piglet makes some suggestions. Shouldn’t Al have a big birthday cake? Piglet can tell him how to make one. And wouldn’t the celebration be more fun with fancy decorations and party guests? Piglet would be happy to ask some friends to come over. Al is so lucky that Piglet is there to help…or is he? Could Piglet have a clever party trick up his sleeve? Fans of trickster tales, rooting for the underdog, and the proven crowd favorite My Lucky Day will be thrilled to see who turns out to have the luckiest birthday of all.

Big Brown Bear's Birthday Surprise book
#25
Big Brown Bear's Birthday Surprise
Written by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

It’s his birthday and Big Brown Bear doesn’t even know it until his friend Rat fills him in during a picnic by the river. Everything goes swimmingly until an empty boat passes by and Big Brown Bear jumps in! Beginning readers will enjoy the watery ride in this sweet story full of sunshine, splashes, cucumber sandwiches, and friendship.

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