The Secret Birthday Message

by Eric Carle

Paperback, 1986



Call number




HarperCollins (1986), Edition: Reprint, 32 pages


By following the instructions in the coded message, Tim finds his birthday present.

User reviews

LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
The little boy in this story gets a note telling him to look for a series of shapes. He follows them on a path to his birthday present. Students will really enjoy the cut out pages, and this might make the basis for a great project. Students could write their own simple stories and make cut-out
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pages books.
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LibraryThing member Tien.Nguyen
This book is fun for children to discover how to find out the birthday gift, especially, Tim in this story. He follows the codes message to find his present. Illustrations of this book catch the readers' attention. Kids also learn shapes from this book as well.
LibraryThing member cbpritchard
The Secret Birthday Message contains Eric Carle's wonderful illustrations and it is a pop-up book. It starts out with a boy trying to find his birthday gift with little clues he has been given. In the end he is supposed to go behind a rock and into a cave and open a secret door to find his new
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LibraryThing member rachel0217
This is a great book to teach children about shapes. They also can learn about secret messages. This book has pop-up pages that will excite students.
LibraryThing member fnborries
This would be a great book to read to Pre-k/K. You could go through and learn about shapes and what mystery and secret means. It is about a secret birthday message. Where you have to go to get the presents and they use shapes to describe it. The shapes like the circle ends up being the moon. You
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can relate shapes to real objects.
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LibraryThing member elizabethholloway
In this story, Tim receives a message in code telling him where to find his birthday present. The code uses different shapes--semi-circle, oval, circle, rectangle and so on. As Tim follows the clues, each page as a full page cut out illustration. The cut out pages offer a nice tactile reinforcement
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of shapes. The secret code is fun and makes the book especially alluring. The narrative enhances, rather than distracts, from the shape concepts. The illustrations are beautiful and, combined with the narrative, appealing to children. This would not be a good choice for an independent reader for reinforcing shape names, since they are illustrated, rather than named, but older readers will enjoy the story. This book is included on The Story Place Preschool Library Website. It is appropriate for ages 3 to 6.
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LibraryThing member kdangleis
The Secret Birthday Message by Eric Carle is a multifaceted concept book combining spatial and directional concepts, following instructions, pattern recognition, matching shapes, and map reading for beginner readers. Tim receives a letter with a secret message the night before his birthday. Upon
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reading it, he discovers it is a coded map that will lead him to his birthday present. The adventure begins when the reader sees Tim’s letter, turns the page and begins to decode it. The pages are cutout shapes that match those in the letter and lead to gift in the end. The text is brief, found on the left side of the page on an all white background, with the symbol above the decoding sentence. On the right, the symbol take a picture form with true Carle style, colorful and brush stroke in design. The surprise at the end is Tim’s present, a puppy…every child’s wish for a birthday present. The final page challenges the reader to find his way back, with a full two-page view of the route Tim takes to find his birthday surprise. This is an excellent book for beginner readers.
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LibraryThing member lmbenji
This is a great yet different book! The character Tim goes on a treasure hunt through a cave where he comes across a note that is written with symbols. The lack of words and insertion of symbols get the reader involved and interactive with the story as they have to guess what the symbol means in
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order to read the message and help Tim on his adventure!
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LibraryThing member Dportnoy
This book is incredibly interactive. It begins by Tim receiving a message that takes him on a treasure hunt! The clues are coded in shapes which help him find his birthday surprise! "The Secret Birthday Message" can help young learners work on their pattern recognition, shapes, and simply following
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instructions! They can also work on learning how to read maps and words that are commonly used to give directions. Eric Carle's illustrations are more than collages in this book. With cut outs and different shaped pages, the reader can have a lot of fun with this story.
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LibraryThing member cakebaker
A boy receives a birthday letter sending him on a hunt to find his birthday gift. The letter is written somewhat in code, with shapes representing words. Good book to use to introduce different shapes.
LibraryThing member bekstrom
This book is a fun example of realistic fiction. This is a fun adventure that students could imagine themselves going through. Students could imagine themselves encountering similar situations, or likely hoping that they would encounter a similar situation. I would use this book in a primary
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classroom. The type of media used is collage.
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LibraryThing member abruser
The layout and design of this book are very intersting. The reader can actually take themselves along the path that the boy is going down on his secret journey to find his birthday present. The teaches children about symbols, signs, and maps, and the exciting adventures that arise when you make
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them and read them.
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LibraryThing member deed9699
This was a cute book. It will get the children to guess and think about where they may go next in the story. They will also love that there is a puppy for a surprise at the end.
LibraryThing member lekenned
An easy book for young children about a boy who has to go on a scavenger hunt to find his birthday present. Teachers children about identifying shapes.
LibraryThing member Bianca_Knight
I fell in love with his book. it is kind of an interacting booking and the pictures in it about abstracted in a way but they are great for children.
LibraryThing member RiaO
This is a story about a little boy who gets a secret coded message with directions to where his birthday present awaits him. Using the code, the boy goes through the steps and gets his birthday surprise, which is a puppy
LibraryThing member MSittig
This book allows readers to think by opening the first page to a secret message to figure out. This book is fun to read allowing young readers to match shapes, follow instructions, and map readings. You may also use this book to teach young readers ways if directions. Up,down,under, through,
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over,etc. the illustrations are very colorful and simple.
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LibraryThing member alcrumpler
Shapes take place of words to become a secret birthday message to help him find his birthday gift! Shapes lead him to his destination to find a new puppy.
LibraryThing member kelleemorcomb
I thought that this book was so cute and I really liked it. I liked the way that the illustrator decided to not make all of the pages simple rectangles and they all had their own unique shape. Another thing that I liked was the writing and how the secret message note had shapes in it to engage the
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reader more. I also liked the illustrations and how bright and playful they were. I think that the big idea is that if you follow the rules you can be rewarded for being good.
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LibraryThing member Andymcclellan_93
Eric Carle is one of my favorite children's authors. He is so creative and this book proves it. What a fantastic way to teach children math. So creative and so fun!
LibraryThing member ccampeaux
This book is about a note that a little boy named Tim gets the night right before his birthday. This special note can lead him to where his awesome birthday present is being kept. This is a good book for children because it can show them how to follow directions.
LibraryThing member margaritamunoz14
Birthday is a special time for a child and making it a fun experience is even better. He has to go through a maze to get his present and at the end is so excited for this present.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

11.25 inches


0064430995 / 9780064430999
Page: 0.5617 seconds