Kindergarten Books > Surprise!


Text and Illustrations: Caroline Hadilaksono | Translation to Arabic: Eiad Mdah

Bear, Square and Racoon have been friends a long time and are a bit bored. They want to make new friends, and when a human family comes to the area they decide to welcome them with a surprise party  — one that has some surprising consequences. A book that humorously  underscores the difficulty of making new friends and the misunderstandings that can arise.

Family Activities

Imagine this scene that may sound familiar to many of us: our child enthusiastically invites us to their room to surprise us with a gift on our birthday. We find a muddle of food mixed with hair lotion in the form of a birthday cake, and our favorite shirt is the tablecloth! We may smile, or get ...


Dear Parents,

throughout our own lives and the our daily lives with our children, there are many situations that highlight a gap between our intentions and how our actions are understood by others. Such as what happened with our friends in the woods when they tried to surprise their guests with a welcome party that turned into a scene of terror after which the guests fled. This humorous story tells us to be patient and to try to understand the intentions of others before we react.

Family Activities

  • We can chat with our child about the “surprise” that the friends prepared in the woods, and about the “surpris” that was waiting for the family when they returned. What is the difference between them? With our child, we can recall surprises that made us happy, and others that angered us, frightened us, or upset us.
  • The animals try to make new friends by preparing a surprise party for them. What do we do to make new friends in the neighborhood or in kindergarten?
  • The parents’ reactions, unlike the two children’s, reveal a fear of animals. We can chat with our child about animals that may harm us, and about other pets that we can get close to.
  • What do we take with us when we go out for a walk in nature, and are there special items we take when we go camping? How can we protect ourselves from dangerous animals or reptiles?
  • Nature is the home of animals, and we are in their home when we visit it. We can chat with our child about ways to respect nature, such as keeping it clean, not breaking tree branches or picking plants.
  • What do you think of preparing a surprise party for a family member or a friend on a certain occasion? Our child will definitely be happy to participate in helping when they can.
  • Our child will enjoy hiding with us in a small tent that we can build at home. We can sit inside it, sip our favorite drink together, and read a story, maybe this story!
  • Enjoy your reading!

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