Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to surprises. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about surprises.
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 surprises, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Night Before the 100th Day of School to popular sellers like I Will Surprise My Friend! to some of our favorite hidden gems like Betsy Red Hoodie.
We hope this list of kids books about surprises 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.
On a Windy Night - 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.
How to Surprise a Dad - 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!
Milo's Hat Trick - Milo the Magnificent’s magic act isn’t so magnificent after all, until he meets a bear who teaches him the secret to the perfect hat trick in this classic and critically acclaimed picture book, perfect for fans of Oliver Jeffers and Jon Klassen Milo the Magnificent is the world’s least magnificent magician. He can’t even pull a rabbit out of his hat! When Mr. Popovich gives him one more chance, Milo knows he has no choice: he has to go out and catch a rabbit for his act. Instead, he catches a bear. And the bear promises to help! Into the hat he dives. Milo rides the train home, sure his act will go off perfectly tonight. But when he arrives in his dressing room, he discovers that he left his hat—and the bear!—on the train. Meanwhile, across town, a man in a restaurant has a very familiar hat . . . Can Milo get his hat back in time for his act?
Peekaboo! on the Farm! - Peekaboo! Who’s hiding on the farm? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills – and simply joining in!
I Will Surprise My Friend! - Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In I Will Surprise My Friend!, Gerald and Piggie want to play a game and surprise each other-but the biggest surprise is the one they least expect.
A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals - Members of a large group of animals, including a penguin, two rabbits, and a koala, disappear at an alarming rate but the hungry lion remains.
Masha and the Bear: Reader #2 - An exciting leveled reader featuring Masha and the Bear! After the Bear’s birthday, Masha gets excited about her own special day—and all of the presents she’ll get. But when her birthday finally arrives, she can’t find her friends. Where are they? Did they forget?!
A Christmas Surprise - 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!
The Night Before Father's Day - 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!
Lily's Water Woes - 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.
The Night Before the 100th Day of School - 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.
Ollie's Treasure - 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!
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