Best Kids Books About Surprise

17 Kids Books About Surprise

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
How to Surprise a Dad book
#1
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!

Click, Clack, Surprise! book
#2
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!

A Gift from Abuela book
#3
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.

The Night Before the 100th Day of School book
#4
The Night Before the 100th Day of School
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Mindy Pierce
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The 100th day of school is almost here and one student is desperate to find 100 of anything to bring to class. Then all of sudden inspiration strikes, and he comes up with a surprise that makes the 100th day celebration one to remember! This hilarious story of a popular school tradition offers a perfect modern twist on Clement C. Moore’s classic poem.

The Night Before Father's Day book
#5
The Night Before Father's Day
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s the night before Father’s Day, and Mom and the kids have a plan to surprise Dad with a special gift. When Dad goes for a bike ride, everyone gets to work. Dad wakes up the next day to find his garage newly organized and his car sparkly clean. So, of course, he celebrates by taking everyone for a spin!

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.

Happy Birthday -Psacharopulo book
#7
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
#8
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!

Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble book
#9
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.

Who's at the Window? book
#10
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!

Poor Little Guy book
#11
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!

Surprise! book
#12
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
#13
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.

On a Windy Night book
#14
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
#15
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!

Wakey, Wakey, Elephant! book
#16
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.

Jack Wants a Snack book
#17
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.

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