Playing Hide-and-seek: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about playing hide-and-seek?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to playing hide-and-seek. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about playing hide-and-seek.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about playing hide-and-seek, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hedgehugs: Autumn Hide-and-Squeak to popular sellers like Have You Seen Elephant? to some of our favorite hidden gems like Oliver’s Tree.

We hope this list of kids books about playing hide-and-seek can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Oliver's Tree book
#1
Oliver's Tree
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

The illustrations for Oliver’s Tree are warm and homey with an older, Winnie the Pooh feel to them. The book teaches a valuable lesson about helping friends. Oliver is sad that he can’t climb in the trees like his friends while they play hide and seek far above the ground. While he walks away pouting and disappointed, his friends rally to build a tree house where they can all play together. The book really is quite reminiscent of a Winnie the Pooh story. It’s simple and sweet. Oliver’s emotions get the best of him, but that happens to most of us at some time or another, and it sure makes a difference when we have good friends to help us through.

A board book about three adorable best friends!

Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in.

But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Hide and Seek book
#2
Hide and Seek
Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In this sly activity board book from celebrated international favorite Taro Gomi, young readers will delight to find hidden objects amidst familiar characters. When a crocodile’s dangerous smile can become a shiny toothbrush and a butterfly’s camouflage transforms into adorable heart shapes, there’s no telling what comes next! Kids will love learning that not everything in this world is as it seems. Sure to be a hit during both storytime and playtime!

Cat Nap book
#3
Cat Nap
Written by Toni Yuly
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

Cat Nap book
#4
Cat Nap
Written and illustrated by Toni Yuly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

My Pet Giraffe book
#5
My Pet Giraffe
Written and illustrated by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Giraffes make the best pets! Follow a little girl and boy and their pet giraffe as they spy, dress up for Halloween, and play hide-and-seek!

  1. Hiding Heidi - A beautiful and enchanting story by exciting new talent Fiona Woodcock, about a little girl with an amazing gift for concealing herself. Meet Heidi—if you can find her, that is! Heidi is the best at hiding: in school, at the playground, or in the park. Heidi’s friends know how much she loves hiding, so they always let her play and win. But Heidi learns the importance of sharing the limelight with other people when being too good at hiding makes her miss all the other fun her friends are having—and how much more fun it can be when you appreciate what your friends are good at too! She learns Freddie is great at bouncing on hippity-hops, Katie is sensational at roller-skating, and Lizzie is incredible at climbing. Heidi then realizes that she has fun doing the activities her friends like, even if she isn’t the best.

  2. Have You Seen Elephant? - “Elephant wants to play hide and seek. You can play too, but you’ll have to try your best, he’s very good!”—Back cover.

  3. A B See - A beautifully illustrated, graphic alphabet book with a fun search-and-find twist. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s in a single letter? Everything in A B See! Because hidden in each graphic letter are tiny troves of ABC treasures waiting to be found by sharp-eyed readers. Can you find the apple, arrow, and armor in the letter A? Or the bear, banjo, and bike buried in the letter B? Read along in this unique alphabet board book that asks audiences to A B See beyond the ABCs.

  4. Otis and the Puppy - Otis and his farm friends love to play hide-and-seek. Otis especially loves to be “It,” finding his friends as they hide. Yet when the newest addition to the farm—a bounding puppy who can’t sit still and has a habit of licking faces—tries to hide, he finds his attention wandering and is soon lost in the forest. Night falls and Otis, knowing his new friend is afraid of the dark, sets out to find him. There’s just one problem: Otis is also afraid of the dark. His friend is alone and in need, though, so Otis takes a deep breath, counts to ten, and sets off on a different game of hide-and-seek. From the critically-acclaimed illustrator of The Little Engine that Could, Of Thee I Sing, and Otis.

Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! book
#10
Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug!
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Laura Ljungkvist
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Yoo-hoo, Ladybug! Where are you? There you are… afloat in the bath, with Duck and Giraffe!

Ladybug loves to hide. Come along on a treasure hunt to find this sneaky little bug, wherever she may be! Children will delight in this picture book game of hide-and-seek and will eagerly read along, pointing out Ladybug’s newest and cleverest hiding spot time and again.

I Thought I Saw a Bear book
#11
I Thought I Saw a Bear
Written by Templar Books and illustrated by Lydia Nichols
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hide-and-seek fun with sturdy sliders! This silly but stylish slider book is sure to give little ones a giggle. They’ll love joining in a game of hide-and-seek as they move the sliders to reveal the animal hiding in every scene. With beautiful artwork from Lydia Nichols, the whole family will enjoy reading and playing with this novelty series.

I Thought I Saw an Elephant book
#12
I Thought I Saw an Elephant
Written by Templar Books and illustrated by Lydia Nichols
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hide-and-seek fun with sturdy sliders! This silly but stylish slider book is sure to give little ones a giggle. They’ll love joining in a game of hide-and-seek as they move the sliders to reveal the animal hiding in every scene. With beautiful artwork from Lydia Nichols, the whole family will enjoy reading and playing with this novelty series.

Hey, Water! book
#13
Hey, Water!
Written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splash! A spunky little girl plays a spirited game of hide-and-seek with water, in this gorgeously illustrated nonfiction picture book.

The Lost Picnic book
#14
The Lost Picnic
Written and illustrated by B. B. Cronin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A brilliantly illustrated seek-and-find that dazzles even more than The Lost House, from the award-winning B. B. Cronin!

Grandad is taking his grandchildren on a picnic in his jalopy. They ride on a busy highway full of cars and signs, past charming villages and topiary-filled parks, out into the country. But when they finally arrive at the picnic spot, they discover all their food has tumbled out of the car along the way! It’s up to readers to find the missing food so the family can enjoy their meal at last.

  1. Papasaurus - Babysaurus loves playing hide-and-seek with his Papasaurus. But one day, no matter where he looks, he can’t find him, so Babysaurus turns to his prehistoric friends for help. Where can his Papasaurus be? Of course, Papasaurus has been right there all along, and when Babysaurus needs a little help, Papasaurus is ready with a big kiss and more games. This colorful and reassuring book is a fresh twist on a perennial theme that will win the hearts of little ones and their papas alike.

  2. Hedgehugs: Autumn Hide-and-Squeak - Horace and Hattie are hedgehogs and the very best of friends. Together they make shadow puppets, follow slimy snail trails, and search for spider webs. One autumn day they are watching the leaves fall from the trees when they hear a squeak . . . Could it be a new friend to play with?

  3. Where's the Bear? - Five beautifully illustrated spreads show a series of friendly animals hiding behind bright felt flaps. A mirror on the final spread makes for a satisfying ending to the book’s search-and-find inquiries. (Where are you? There you are!) A perfect book to share with very little ones.

  4. Peek-a-Boo Little Chick - A little chick looks for mama in this adorable, springtime peek-a-boo book that has soft, felt touch-and-feel flaps throughout! A little chick is looking for mama! This sweet peek-a-boo book with felt flaps throughout will have young readers looking under the soft, easy-to-lift flaps to help the little chick find mama!

I Thought I Saw a Dinosaur! book
#19
I Thought I Saw a Dinosaur!
Written by Templar Books and illustrated by Lydia Nichols
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hide-and-seek fun with sturdy sliders! This silly but stylish slider book is sure to give little ones a giggle. They’ll love joining in a game of hide-and-seek as they move the sliders to reveal the dinosaur hiding in every scene. Is it behind the sofa? Or in the shower? Just push the slider to find out! With beautiful artwork from Lydia Nichols, the whole family will enjoy reading and playing with this fresh new novelty series.

I Thought I Saw a Lion! book
#20
I Thought I Saw a Lion!
Written by Templar Books and illustrated by Lydia Nichols
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hide-and-seek fun with sturdy sliders! This silly but stylish slider book is sure to give little ones a giggle. They’ll love joining in a game of hide-and-seek as they move the sliders to reveal the lion hiding in every scene. Is it in the restaurant? Or at the beauty salon? Just push the slider to find out! With beautiful artwork from Lydia Nichols, the whole family will enjoy reading and playing with this fresh new novelty series.

Hide and Seek book
#21
Hide and Seek
Written and illustrated by Katie May Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The mischievous stars of Seen and Not Heard climb out of their paintings for another nighttime adventure in this gently spooky bedtime story. A midsummer moon shines on Shiverhawk Hall, where portraits of children come alive on the wall. As night falls, the playful painted residents wake up for another Gorey-esque rhyming caper. When the DeVille twins are nowhere to be seen, the other children escape their frames in search of two girls in white dresses — and, possibly, a midnight game in the garden. Out in the night air, through the maze, and into the woods they go, looking for their mysterious friends. Will they be able to find the twins before the sun rises? Charming and eerie without ever being too scary, Katie May Green’s second tale is perfect for Halloween story times and bedtime read-alouds after a long day of play.

Baby Loves Quantum Physics! book
#22
Baby Loves Quantum Physics!
Written by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Irene Chan
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners.

Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book engages readers in a game of hide-and-seek with Schrodinger’s famous feline. Can cat be awake and asleep at the same time? Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!

With tongue firmly in cheek, the Baby Loves Science series introduces highly intellectual science concepts to the littlest learners.

Sophie La Girafe: Hide and Seek book
#23
Sophie La Girafe: Hide and Seek
Written and illustrated by DK Publishing
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Where did Sophie go? Help your little reader find their favorite toy in Sophie la girafe: Hide and Seek. This chunky, beautifully illustrated board book features six easy-to-grab tabs and flaps that keep children entertained as they play hide and seek with Sophie and her friends around her house.

With more than fifty million sold, Sophie la girafe, the wildly popular toy from France, is a fixture in nurseries all over the world — and now baby’s favorite toy is baby’s favorite story collection.

  1. Journey to the Crystal Cave - Sophie Mouse and her friends are playing hide-and-seek near Butterfly Brook. Sophie finds the perfect hiding spot, but she also finds a glowing cave. The problem is, when Sophie tells her friends about her discovery, they don’t believe her! Illustrations. 5 1/2 x 7 5/16.

  2. Dottie Dolphin Plays Hide-and-Seek - A one-of-a-kind ocean adventure with Dottie Dolphin! When Dottie Dolphin dives deep into the ocean to play hide-and-seek with her siblings, she discovers a wonderful world of ocean animals. Join Dottie and her new friends beneath the waves in this interactive story with flaps to lift and colorful, detailed underwater scenes by best-selling nature illustrator Maurice Pledger.

  3. Little Night/Nochecita - As the long day comes to an end, Mother Sky fills a tub with falling stars and calls, “Bath time for Little Night!” Little Night answers from afar, “Can’t come. I am hiding and you have to find me, Mama. Find me now!” Where could Little Night be? Down a rabbit hole? In a blueberry field? Among the stripes of bees? Exquisitely painted and as gentle as Little Night’s dress crocheted from clouds, this is a story to treasure. With a bilingual text in both English and Spanish, Little Night Nochecita by Yuyi Morales is a sweet story every child can enjoy.

  4. Play Hide-and-Seek with Pepe & Millie - Pepe and Millie are playing hide-and-seek! When their friend Emma joins in the fun, Pepe and Millie can’t find her. Where could she be hiding?

Catch Me: A Seek-and-Find Book book
#28
Catch Me: A Seek-and-Find Book
Written and illustrated by Anders Arhoj
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Cats and dogs rule—and wreak humorous havoc—in this innovative picture book that reads from front to back and back to front! In this action-packed follow-up to Find Me: A Hide-and-Seek Book, readers will delight in tracking a sly cat, Big Meow, and an elusive dog, Little Woof, through 11 richly detailed scenes populated with dogs, cats, and other cute creatures. Finding each protagonist is made even more fun with vibrant color changes on every page. Open the book from the front to search for Big Meow, then open the book from the back to turn the tables and catch Little Woof. It’s two seek-and-find experiences in one book!

Just Like My Brother book
#29
Just Like My Brother
Written and illustrated by Gianna Marino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An entertaining and moving tribute to big brothers by the author/illustrator of Meet Me at the Moon and Following Papa’s Song. Continuing her picture book stories about family relationships, Gianna Marino introduces Little Giraffe, who adores her big brother. Set in a stunning African landscape, the story begins with a game of hide-and-seek as Little Giraffe looks for her big brother, who’s just out of her sight, but always safely nearby. As she asks the many animals she encounters on her search if they’ve seen him, it’s evident how much she admires him. He’s taller and faster and braver than her, she tells them. But as the search continues, the other animals insist that Little Giraffe is tall, and fast, and brave, too . . . and best of all, she has a wonderful older brother who looks out for her!

Indestructibles: Baby Peekaboo book
#30
Indestructibles: Baby Peekaboo
Written by Amy Pixton and illustrated by Kate Merritt and Amy Pixton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

It’s the little series that could: Indestructibles are innovative books built for the way babies read. Printed on a unique, nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up to anything babies throw at them, Indestructibles are rip proof, chew proof, drool proof and gum proof. They’re 100% baby safe—and they’re washable. When a book gets dirty, just throw it in the dishwasher or washing machine, and voilà, the book is back and ready for more.

Featuring the second set of titles by Kate Merritt, whose distinctive and colorful collage illustrations are as adorable to parents as they are to babies, here is a new Indestructibles that is a joy to read aloud. Baby Peekaboo celebrates the favorite playtime game while teaching the concept of object permanence. “Who’s hiding behind the toys? Peekaboo! It’s Puppy!” Simple, engaging text encourages language development, and each spread is filled with sweet details.

100 Bugs! A Counting Book book
#31
100 Bugs! A Counting Book
Written by Kate Narita and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

A boy and girl find and count 100 different bugs in their backyard in increments of ten.

Crabtree book
#32
Crabtree
Written by and illustrated by Jon Nichols and Tucker Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Alfred Crabtree has lost his false teeth. But don’t worry, he’ll find them if he can just get his things organized! Alfred’s world is cluttered with surprising objects. Some are very uncommon, and some are probably not where they ought to be. There are a lot of pencils and small yapping dogs. There’s a squeeze bottle of mustard, a plunger, a rubber band or two, a few very fancy hats, and a group portrait of sea monsters. There’s an old cassette tape, a swizzle stick, a bicycle pump, and an armadillo shell. Join Alfred on a romp through his far too many possessions and you’ll end up learning more about him than he knows about himself. And maybe he’ll find his teeth in all that stuff!

  1. Where Is Bear? - The animals in the forest are playing hide-and-seek…but there’s one animal that can’t be found. Where oh where has Bear gone? The animals in the forest are playing hide-and-seek, and everyone is found—except for the biggest creature of all! Where, oh where, could Bear have gone? One thing is certain: his loyal friends will do whatever it takes to find him. Join the search for Bear in this sweet padded board book!

  2. Where Is Galah? - Dingo is on the prowl. He can see Emu, Swan, and Turtle. He can hear Crocodile, Frog, and Kookaburra. But where is Galah? Sally Morgan brings the Australian landscape alive in this colorful exploration of animals and animal sounds. Children will have fun with the search-and-find element. Galah is hiding on every page!

  3. Ladybug Girl Plays - For the youngest Ladybug Girl fans comes a concept board book about all the different kinds of games that kids like to play. With its sturdy format and at 12 pages long, this book is perfect for toddlers. Ladybug Girl and her dog Bingo love to play all different kinds of games, from jump rope, to hide-and-seek, to tea party. When Ladybug Girl uses her imagination, those games become even more fun!

  4. Whaley Whale - Theme: Hide-and-Seek. It’s hard to be discreet when you’re a whale (. . . or a preschooler). With relatable obviousness, Whaley Whale engages in a lighthearted game of hide-and-seek with the reader. Is she on the table? . . . Is she behind the door? This methodical progression builds an anticipation that delights young readers, while the unmistakable foreshadowing keeps parents giggling along.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!