Best Children's Books About Surprise

27 Children's Books About Surprise

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Fortunately book
#1
Fortunately
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Good and bad luck accompany Ned from New York to Florida on his way to a surprise party.

How to Surprise a Dad book
#2
How to Surprise a Dad
Written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From the creators of the New York Times bestsellers HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDPA and HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDMA comes a charming HOW TO book that's all about surprises! So you want to surprise your dad? You’re in luck! The pages of this book are full of tips on how to become a super dad surpriser, including tips for things you can make, do, or find—just for your dad. Be sure to read up on: · Yummy treats and presents for a dad · What to do if he starts getting suspicious · How to prepare for the big moment (where to hide everyone, and how to practice whispering “Surprise!”) From the author-illustrator team behind the New York Times bestselling HOW TO... series comes an adorable, funny, surprising celebration of dads!

Wakey, Wakey, Elephant! book
#3
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.

Click, Clack, Surprise! book
#4
Click, Clack, Surprise!
Written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

Monster Needs a Party book
#5
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.

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise book
#6
Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise
Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s homework time for the little red chicken, who has just learned about something every good story should have: an elephant of surprise. Or could it be an element of surprise (as her amused papa explains)? As they dive in to story after story, looking for the part that makes a reader say “Whoa! I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Papa is sure he can convince Chicken he’s right. After all, there are definitely no elephants in “The Ugly Duckling,” “Rapunzel,” or “The Little Mermaid”—or are there? Elephant or element, something unexpected awaits Papa in every story, but a surprise may be in store for the little red chicken as well. Full of the same boisterous charm that made Interrupting Chicken so beloved by readers, this gleeful follow-up is sure to delight fans of stories, surprises, and elephants alike.

Spot Goes Shopping book
#7
Spot Goes Shopping
Written and illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Grocery shopping is a treat with Spot! Spot is helping his mom shop at the grocery store. He gets to have his very own shopping cart, and helps pick out the cheese, eggs, cereal, and juice. His mom may even have a tasty surprise for him since he helped out so well!

Peekaboo! on the Farm! book
#8
Peekaboo! on the Farm!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Peekaboo! Who's hiding on the farm? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills – and simply joining in!

Happy Birthday -Psacharopulo book
#9
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.

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!

Who's at the Window? book
#11
Who's at the Window?
Written and illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Quick—who’s at the window? Could it be a drooling, hungry WEREWOLF? No! Turn the page and you’ll find a nest of adorable baby birds. Nothing is what it first seems in Agnese Baruzzi’s fun novelty book, which has a die-cut windowpane that shows just a glimpse of what lies beyond. Children will love this guessing game that’s full of surprises!

A Christmas Surprise book
#12
A Christmas Surprise
Written by Sue Bentley and illustrated by Angela Swan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Molly is so excited to spend Christmas with her family. . . she can?t wait for the snow, food, and presents! But Molly just can?t seem to keep herself out of trouble. Luckily, she finds a distraction in Flame, the snow white kitten. With his magical help, it looks like Molly may get the best Christmas present ever!

Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble book
#13
Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Pee! Gee! Wee! Gee! What’s that sound? With her birthday coming up, Jessica hopes that, just maybe, her present will be a real-live potbellied pig. Jessica can hardly wait for her party with Judy Moody and all their friends. But Judy Moody is acting like a pig-head, and Jessica UN-invites her from the party. To make matters worse, Jessica has snooped around the house and has found zero sign of a pig present. Could her birthday be any more of a disaster? Geared to newly independent readers, this story will have Judy Moody fans in pig heaven.

Seven Orange Pumpkins Board Book book
#14
Seven Orange Pumpkins Board Book
Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A rhyming Halloween counting board book sure to delight the youngest trick-or-treaters Now in a board book edition for the youngest reader, join a sneaky spider, a wily witch, a silly scarecrow, and other favorite spooky creatures as seven orange pumpkins disappear in a countdown to a Halloween surprise. Bright, bold, and fun, Seven Orange Pumpkins is a perfect read-aloud and is sure to capture the imagination of the littlest trick-or-treaters.

Poor Little Guy book
#15
Poor Little Guy
Written and illustrated by Elanna Allen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What do you do when you’re so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable? An itsy-bitsy, glasses-wearing fish is minding his own business when a playful (and hungry) octopus snatches him right up. Luckily, this poor little guy is not quite as innocent as he seems…and he has a BIG surprise up his sleeve!

Munch Your Lunch! book
#16
Munch Your Lunch!
Written by Becky Friedman and illustrated by Jason Fruchter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! Daniel Tiger is the lunch helper at school and gets a sweet surprise from Mom Tiger in this 8x8 storybook based on an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that comes with tiger-tastic lunch notes to pack in your little one’s lunchbox! It’s lunchtime at Daniel Tiger’s school. Teacher Harriet tells everyone to take a deep breath and open their lunch boxes. Daniel Tiger’s lunch box has a sandwich, strawberries, and a special surprise: A note from Mom Tiger! With the Daniel Tiger lunch notes included in this 8x8 storybook, parents and guardians can add special messages in their little one’s lunchboxes to show how much they care!

A Surprise for Santa: A spot-the-difference Christmas adventure! book
#17
A Surprise for Santa: A spot-the-difference Christmas adventure!
Written by Kate Jackson and illustrated by Mattia Cerato
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Help Santa save Christmas in this spot-the-difference board book adventure! Santa needs your help! It's almost Christmas and Santa's workshop is topsy-turvy thanks to one very naughty elf! Can you help Santa find all of the messes his elf has made before it's too late?

Surprise! book
#18
Surprise!
Written and illustrated by Mike Henson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Badger wants to show Rabbit something. But why do the lights keep going on and off? There are plenty of surprises in store for the animals in this simple, vibrant picture book which is both a mystery and a guessing game. As young readers prepare to turn the pages, they can try to predict what will happen next.

Movie Madness book
#19
Movie Madness
Written by Cari Meister and illustrated by Stephen Park Gilpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

It's Snowy's birthday! Seb and Princess plan a special surprise trip to the movies. But how will they get in without anyone seeing them? And what happens when the three horses get scared in the theater? Let's just say, it could be a stinky situation! Download the Capstone 4D app to access a variety of bonus content.

Lily's Water Woes book
#20
Lily's Water Woes
Written by Brandi Dougherty and illustrated by Renee Kurilla
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The second installment of the Wild Fairies series, Lily’s Water Woes, follows wild fairy (and mermaid) Lily, who is feeling left out. While her fairy friends get to travel to beautiful beaches and lush forests, Lily is always stuck at home, unable to be away from the water for very long. Her froggy pal, Splash, tries his best to cheer her up, but Lily still wishes she could stay out late and play like the other fairies. Wanting to help their friend, the fairies come together to build an awesome surprise for Lily that just might make it easier for her to travel beyond her small pond. The Wild Fairies series features a group of magical fairy friends who love playing and learning in the beautiful and bountiful forest they call home. With their reliable sidekick critters alongside, Daisy, Thistle, Heather, Celosia, Poppy, Dahlia, Indigo, and Lily care for the natural world around them using their unique and diverse set of special skills. Infused with ecology, botany, and magic, the wild fairies’ whimsical adventures will inspire in kids a sense of wonder and curiosity for nature, as well as inform them about the wildflowers and critters behind the fairies through young-reader friendly nonfiction pages in the back of each book.

On a Windy Night book
#21
On a Windy Night
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by George Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice: “Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The detailed illustrations are packed with visual tricks for children to discover. Are those skeletons or cornstalks? Ghostly hands or tree branches? The playful tone of the text makes this a perfect, not-too-scary read-aloud, with an enjoyable surprise ending.

Ollie's Treasure book
#22
Ollie's Treasure
Written by Lynn Jenkins and illustrated by Kirrili Lonergan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Ollie’s Treasure is tale of mindfulness for young, developing minds. Ollie’s grandma sends him a treasure map that promises to lead him to ‘something that will make him happy always’. Of course, Ollie thinks this ‘something’ will be a toy of some sort, but he gets both a rude shock and a big surprise when his treasure turns out to be him!

Spot's Easter Surprise book
#23
Spot's Easter Surprise
Written and illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Excited about the big Easter egg hunt at his grandparent's house, Spot and his friends search for the hidden treats, but when he sees something special in the bushes, Spot knows that it is the perfect gift for his grandparents. On board pages.

Jack Wants a Snack book
#24
Jack Wants a Snack
Written and illustrated by Pat Schories
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Have you ever known a dog that didn't want a snack? When Jack sees the tea party, he decides to join. He wants a snack. Just one . . . well, maybe more than one. But Jack isn't alone. A chipmunk wanting a snack—or more than one—disrupts the party and the little girl joins Jack on a chase to set the tea party right. The unexpected outcome will surprise and delight the board book audience.

A Gift from Abuela book
#25
A Gift from Abuela
Written and illustrated by Cecilia Ruiz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In her first book for children, Cecilia Ruiz illuminates how things can change -- and the importance of holding on to our dearest relationships when they do. The first time Abuela holds Nina, her heart overflows with tenderness. And as Nina grows up, she and Abuela spend plenty of time together. Abuela can't help thinking how much she'd like to give Nina a very special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week -- a few pesos here, a few pesos there. When the world turns upside down, Abuela's dream of a surprise for Nina seems impossible. Luckily, time spent together -- and the love Abuela and Nina have for each other -- could turn out to be the very best gift of all. With a soft and subtle hand, author-illustrator Cecilia Ruiz draws from her own history to share a deeply personal tale about remembering what's most important when life starts to get in the way.

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